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Former 3% of Idaho founder must pay more than $110,000 in restitution owed to clients

Crime Watch

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The Oregonian newsspaper interviewed Brandon Curtiss, then president of 3% of Idaho, during the January 2016 occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. | BY DAVE KILLEN, FEDOR ZARKIN

FRUITLAND (Idaho Statesman) – A district judge ordered Brandon Curtiss, founder of the 3% of Idaho militia, to pay more than $110,000 in restitution to the victims of his theft.

Curtiss, 46, of Fruitland, took the money from clients and customers through his business called Curtiss Property Management. He pleaded guilty in November 2019 to one count of grand theft. His plea agreement allowed that restitution would be ordered for all victims of the charged and dismissed cases.

Curtiss was one person who led a group of armed men who set up a security perimeter during a standoff at Oregon’s Malheur Wildlife Refuge, involving Emmett resident Ammon Bundy.

A two-day restitution hearing was held in September, and Ada County District Judge Peter Barton stated he would release a written ruling on the amount of restitution at a later date, according to the Ada County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. On Wednesday, Barton ordered restitution in the amount of $94,846.53, for 13 of Curtiss’ victims. Five other victims were previously awarded restitution by Barton.

The total restitution ordered for all victims was $111,057.47.

Earlier this year, Barton sentenced Curtiss to 364 days in jail and 14 years of probation. This month, Barton denied a request from the Ada County Jail that Curtiss be released early for good behavior during his yearlong sentence.

In April, Curtiss asked to be released from jail because of the danger of contracting the coronavirus. Barton denied the request. Curtiss is in custody at the Ada County Jail, as of Thursday afternoon.

Curtiss was a former police officer for the Nez Perce Tribal Police Department and had his police certification revoked on Feb. 27. He was decertified by the Idaho Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Council after his felony conviction.

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