Several members of an Alaska militia, including its leader, have been sentenced to prison for a range of crimes, including plotting to kill public officials and law enforcement officers. The leader got almost 26 years in prison, while others received similar sentences.
The leader of a self-described militia group was sentenced Tuesday to serve nearly 26 years in prison following his conviction on nine felonies, including conspiring to murder public officials.
U.S. District Judge Robert Bryan sentenced Schaeffer Cox, 28, during a two-hour hearing at U.S. District Court in Anchorage.
Cox’s sentence came a day after another foot soldier in the Alaska Peacekeepers Militia, 57-year-old Lonnie Vernon, received the same sentence…
Prosecutors said the group hatched a “2-for-1” plan – killing two law enforcement officials for every militia member killed – an idea another convicted member, Coleman Barney, acknowledged at his trial was discussed twice but never put into play. Group members also amassed silencers and grenades…Vernon was charged with conspiring to kill public officials, amassing weapons and, along with his wife, of planning to kill a federal judge and an Internal Revenue Service official over a tax dispute.
Karen Vernon was sentenced to 12 years in prison on Monday.
Barney was sentenced last year to five years in prison on weapons charges.
This sounds very similar to the case involving the Hutaree militia here in Michigan. They were arrested three years ago on similar charges but the federal judge overseeing that trial dismissed the most serious charges against almost all of them. A few of the Hutaree folks ended up pleading guilty to weapons charges, but the government could not prove with similar recordings from an infiltrator that the group had actually planned to do some of the things they talked about, including killing police officers.