The identity of one of the two confidential informants in the Schaeffer Cox militia case was revealed this week after a judge reduced his sentence on several felony charges, as a reward for his help in bringing about the arrest of Cox and members of his Alaska Peacemakers Militia.
Gerald Olson had pleaded guilty to second-degree theft relating to charges that he defrauded customers of a septic tank business, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports. But on Friday, Superior Court Judge Kari Kristiansen mitigated his sentence after his work as a confidential informant in the case against Cox.
Over ten months, Olson and one other still-anonymous informant helped federal agents gather over 130 hours of audio and video recordings, among other evidence, that eventually led to the arrest of Schaeffer Cox, Lonnie and Karen Vernon, Coleman Barney, and Michael O. Anderson in March. The five were charged with stockpiling weapons and plotting to kill two state troopers, an IRS agent, and District Judge Robert Beistline, who was presiding over the Vernons’ tax evasion case.
There’s been speculation that the second informant is William Fulton, former owner of the Dropzone Security Army surplus store in Anchorage, who gained brief notoriety after he did security work for then-Alaska senatorial candidate Joe Miller (R). At a campaign event, Fulton and his employees handcuffed and detained a journalist for the Alaska Dispatch, who was attempting to question and video Miller.
Olson will be on probation until he pays restitution to those he defrauded, and his sentence was suspended until he completes his probation. If he completes it without committing another crime, his conviction could be set aside, according to the News-Miner.
In a brief on Tuesday, federal prosecutors requested a partial gag order in the case after Tim Dooley, the defense attorney for Barney, made comments to the press that prosecutors believed were “testimonial in nature.”
Dooley had told the News-Miner that Olson was the one who first brought up the plan to go after officials, and that in reviewing the evidence he had not yet seen anything to suggest that Barney had participated in the conspiracy to kill officials.
U.S. Attorney Steve Skrocki said that Dooley’s comments were “testimonial in nature, [and] are based on an incomplete and possibly selective review of the evidence and run the specter of influencing the public and the jury pool without redress.”