FBI agents reportedly posed as filmmakers to infiltrate a militia in the Nevada desert, a Federal court has heard.
FBI special agent Charles Johnson has revealed that the Bureau set up a fake film company, Longbow Productions, to dupe armed militants who were supporting rancher Cliven Bundy during his stand-off with America's Bureau of Land Management.
Undercover agents told the militants they had come to the ranch to shoot a documentary, America Reloaded, and used the pretense to extract statements.
Johnson made the revelation while testifying during the trial of six of the men for their role in the armed stand-off, which centred on Bundy's refusal to pay thousands of dollars in grazing fees to the BLM.
The interviews extracted from the militants were also played before the court.
One of the defendants, Scott Drexler, said "it seems as if when there are armed people around a situation, then the authorities have to be a little more civil, have to treat you like a person.
"If nobody is facing any kind of consequences for their actions, they can just do whatever they want.”
The charges against the six men included conspiracy, firearm offences and assault on a federal officer, and testimony is expected to be complete in May.
Bundy, and his sons Ryan and Ammon, will then face their own trial, along with two other alleged ringleaders.
Ammon Bundy's attorney has criticised the Bureau's filmmaking ruse, saying it is "troublesome that the FBI would sink to that tactic."