Additional Charges Filed in Alaska Militia Case
Heavily armed members of the Alaska Peacemaker Militia, equipped with live grenades and assault rifles, stopped private citizens, demanded identifications and prevented some from traveling to their homes and jobs, a new indictment alleges.
The indictment includes serious additional federal charges against militia leader Francis Schaeffer Cox and commanders Coleman L. Barney and Lonnie G. Vernon. Additionally, the new charging document also provides expanded details about how well supplied and organized the militia group had become before FBI agents arrested Cox and the others in March.
For example, the militia group’s sophistication with illegal munitions was at the point that its leaders were debating the value of buying illegal grenades with two-second fuses versus those with eight-second fuses, the indictment says.
And on one maneuver, while violating the Constitution and stopping unsuspecting Alaska residents at gunpoint, members of the secret militia were equipped with body armor, semi-automatic rifles and grenade launchers loaded with deadly “hornets nest” grenades.
Cox, Barney and Vernon were arming their Peacemaker militia in the collective belief that soon the group “would be compelled to take up arms against the government” or take over in the event of a government collapse, the superseding indictment filed last week says.
“In preparation for this eventuality, the Alaska Assembly Post established a military arm, a legal arm, its own judiciary and its own monetary currency,” it alleges.
“The illegal firearms, machine guns, destructive devices and firearms silencers were possessed with the intent to thwart any effort by law enforcement from taking Cox into custody and … in furtherance of Cox’s believe that no governmental law, state or federal applied to him (because) of his status as a sovereign citizen,” it adds.
In November 2010, when Cox was scheduled for a television interview in North Pole, Alaska, his militia squad designed an “operational-tactical plan” to provide him security in the “belief that a federal and completely fictitious ‘hit team’ had been sent to Fairbanks to assassinate him,” the indictment says.
As commander of the armed security detail, Barney wore body armor and carried an assault rifle equipped with a 37mm grenade launcher armed with a live “Hornets Nest” grenade. Its anti-personnel projectiles were “capable of inflicting lethal injuries,” the indictment says.
While Cox was doing the television interview, his militia security force was outdoors, nearby, trespassing on private property and conducting patrols. The militia team “constructed a vehicular funneling point in order to stop and inspect vehicles and (obtain) identities of private citizens.” The militia members “stopped private citizens without lawful authority under the force of arms,” the indictment says.