A member of the anti-government Freemen left the compound to meet with FBI agents for the first time in more than two weeks, while residents pressured authorities to use "reasonable force" to end the 74-day standoff.
The government is reportedly considering further measures to isolate the Freemen, including disrupting the group's satellite television, cellular telephone and radio communications signals.Many area residents say the FBI has not been aggressive enough in trying to end the standoff, which began March 25 at the remote, 960-acre compound on the eastern Montana plains.
The FBI did not cut off electricity until Monday, has kept its SWAT teams several miles from the farm, and until recently, allowed family members to visit the complex.
The FBI has cut off visits from outsiders but has continued to make an exception for Janet Clark, whose husband, Edwin, and son Casey are in the compound. She has been allowed to bring medicine to her son.
On Wednesday, Janet Clark stayed at the ranch for about two hours, then left with another person in the passenger seat of her car. The person met at the FBI checkpoint known as "The Church" for two hours before returning to the compound.
Janet Clark left the compound alone an hour later.
Negotiations broke down May 21 when Colorado state Sen. Charles Duke gave up in frustration. Duke, one of many failed negotiators, said the Freemen were not negotiating in good faith and that some were merely criminals trying to avoid prosecution.
At least 21 people, including three children, remain at the ranch. More than a dozen adults are wanted on charges that include circulating millions of dollars in bogus checks and threatening to kill a federal judge.
The FBI is considering putting more pressure on the Freemen, The New York Times reported Thursday.
Besides disrupting TV and communications signals, officials may block the group's access to fishing ponds, fields planted with crops and buildings used to store food, the newspaper said.