Friday, March 11, 2011

Alaska (Tea Party) militia charged in murder-kidnap plot

UPDATE: March 13, 2011

Joe Miller denies connection to jailed Alaska militia leader
Alaska Dispatch | Mar 12, 2011

Miller's message is presented below without alteration.

Miller Responds to False Allegations

Former US Senate Candidate Joe Miller is disputing the media's characterization of him as a “close friend and associate” of arrested Alaska Militia leader Schaeffer Cox. Mr. Miller became acquainted with Mr. Cox through Republican Party politics, not unlike many other State leaders. Mr. Cox offered no tangible support to Miller's run for the US Senate; he was neither a campaign contributor nor volunteer; and, save for public forums during the campaign, has had no contact with Mr. Miller subsequent to his run-ins with the law early last year. To the contrary, Cox himself was critical of Miller during last fall's campaign. ("Schaeffer Cox of Fairbanks, commander of the Alaska Peacemakers Militia, tells Salon he isn't a Miller supporter.") Mr. Miller has never had any connection to any of Mr. Cox's militia organizations, and in no way condones any lawless behavior.

Alaska militia charged in murder-kidnap plot

Reuters reports a Tea-Party-Joe-Miller Pal, named Francis "Schaeffer" Cox, the 26-year-old leader of the so-called "citizen sovereignty" movement, wanted to kill State Troopers and a local judge.

Cox has become a minor celebrity in Alaska for his outspoken views and flamboyant style.

He ran for the state legislature in 2008, has identified himself as a good friend and associate of unsuccessful Tea Party-supported U.S. Senate candidate Joe Miller and has tangled with law enforcement officers over domestic-violence charges and weapons charges. At the time of his arrest Thursday, he was the subject of a warrant for failure to appear in court on a weapons charge.

Cox and his associates had developed an extensive plan to launch their attacks, the troopers said in a statement.

They had already conducted extensive surveillance on Fairbanks-area troopers, locating the homes of two troopers, and acquired a large cache of weapons, some of them illegal, according to the statement.

According to prosecutors, the weapons amassed by the group included machine guns, multiple assault rifles, multiple pineapple grenades, at least one grenade launcher, dozens of high-powered rifles and pistols and thousands of rounds of ammunition.

The five are charged with conspiring to commit murder, kidnapping and arson, weapons misconduct, hindering prosecution and tampering with evidence, the troopers said. They were arrested late on Thursday without incident, the troopers said.

Sarah Palin endorsed Tea Party Joe Miller and his entourage of cop killers.

$3 million bail set for Schaeffer Cox; $2 million for 4 others charged in alleged murder plot

... At Cox’s arraignment, his attorney, Robert John, argued Cox should be allowed to have firearms in his home if he manages to post bail and be released. John said Cox needed to be armed “so he is not a sitting duck for people who may come after him.”

Rasley wasn’t convinced. “Another judge might choose to allow firearms. Not me,” she said.

Earlier Friday, Lonnie Vernon appeared in federal court wearing an orange prison jumpsuit. He is the only one of the five arrested Thursday to be charged with a federal crime.

Assistant U.S. attorney Steven Skrocki told Magistrate Scott Oravec that Lonnie Vernon is “not of the belief system” that typically follows court orders and should not be released. He said Vernon had harbored a fugitive — though he did not name the fugitive — and had weapons, including a machine gun. Skrocki noted that the possession of the weapons was, by itself, not a crime. ...

SEPTEMBER 30, 2010 8:21AM
Joe Miller’s Alaska Militia Pals…Are They Dangerous?

Salon’s Justin Elliott created a stir last week with a piece entitled, “The militia’s man in the Senate?” about Joe Miller, Alaska’s Republican candidate for Senate. The piece highlighted video footage of supporters marching for Miller carrying semi-automatic weapons. It also contained quotes by Norm Olson, commander of the Alaska Citizens Militia, and Schaeffer Cox, founder of Alaska Peacemaker’s Militia, Second Amendment Task Force, and the Liberty Bell Network.

These two darlings of the Alaska militia movement use other platforms to articulate a far more strident message than comes across in their attitudes toward Miller as expressed in Elliott’s article.

Norman Olson, who recently abandoned a run for lieutenant governor on the Alaskan Independence Party ticket, was quoted in the Salon piece saying, “It's safe to say that Joe Miller is a friend of patriots. His beliefs and platform favor Second Amendment rights as well as the power of nullification when the federal government intrudes into the private lives of Alaskans.”

Schaeffer Cox offered but tepid support of Miller saying, “He's going to try to run things in a more conservative way, but he's still trying to run things -- so he has the same fundamental problem of all the other politicians.” He volunteered in the Salon interview, however, " that he personally knows and likes Miller."