You are hereTalking Points Memo: 'Sovereign Citizens' Arrested In Alaska For Alleged Plot To Kill Police, Federal Judge

Talking Points Memo: 'Sovereign Citizens' Arrested In Alaska For Alleged Plot To Kill Police, Federal Judge

March 11, 2011- Militia activist Schaeffer Cox and four associates who reportedly stockpiled weapons were arrested on Thursday for allegedly conspiring to kill multiple Alaska State Troopers and a federal judge.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports that the group -- Cox, Lonnie. G. Vernon and his wife Karen Vernon, as well as Coleman Barney of North Pole and Michael Anderson -- were taken into custody by state police. All five face several state charges, including "conspiracy to commit murder, conspiracy to commit kidnapping, conspiracy to commit arson, misconduct involving weapons in the third degree, hindering prosecution in the first degree and tampering with evidence," according to a press release by the Alaska State Troopers.

Only one of the individuals, Lonnie G. Vernon, has been charged on the federal level so far. He's alleged to have threatened to murder U.S. District Court Judge Ralph R. Beistline from on or about Feb. 4, continuing through Feb. 16.

U.S. Attorney Karen L. Loeffler, the top federal prosecutor in Alaska, confirmed to TPM on Thursday that Vernon was the only individual facing federal charges. "I can't really comment beyond anything else of what is publicly charged -- Mr. Vernon is charged with threatening to kill the judge and his family, and he was arrested on that. Everything else, all the other arrests, are state."

Loeffler said her office was working closely with state authorities. She declined to comment on whether Vernon was involved with any militia organizations and could not say how the threats were allegedly relayed. She said there is an arraignment scheduled for 10:30 a.m. local time Friday, where Vernon is expected to plead not guilty.



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