Schaeffer Cox and two members of his Alaska militia were indicted on two additional federal weapons charges for possessing grenades and a grenade launcher.
Cox, Coleman Barney and Lonnie Vernon were indicted by a federal grand jury on Friday, adding to several weapons charges they received after their arrests in March. The three, all members of the “Alaska Assembly Post” and the accompanying “Alaska Peacemakers Militia,” were among a group of five who were initially arrested and charged in March for allegedly plotting to kill government officials. The state has since dropped the charges, but all three remain in custody on several federal weapons charges.
According to the latest indictment, Cox and his cohorts stockpiled weapons “in furtherance of their collective belief that at some undetermined and unknown point in the future the Alaska Assembly Post and its militia would be compelled to take up arms against the government.”
The group collected weapons as part of a plan to protect Cox from “a federal (and completely fictitious) ‘hit team’ [that] had been sent to Fairbanks to assassinate him,” the indictment says. Barney was the commanding officer of the detail.
In an affidavit filed last week, Cox gave a version of events that blamed a government informant who he said “kept pushing and pushing the question ‘what my plan was’ and that his men were being mobilized to attack the government.”
In the same affidavit, Cox claimed that an unnamed colonel at Fort Wainwright had offered him asylum during the FBI’s investigation. From the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner:
In the two sections of the affidavit about Fort Wainwright, Cox said he came to the military installation with his family because he was worried about being attacked. A colonel “offered to give (him) what protection he could,” Cox said.
Later, Cox said a soldier named Stephen Gibson told him federal officials asked the Army for a video of his meeting with the colonel. Cox said Gibson told him the government was trying to use an Office of Children’s Services investigation into Cox’s family to instigate a conflict and kill Cox.
Fort Wainwright garrison spokeswoman Linda Douglass told the News-Miner that “no one at Fort Wainwright offered asylum to Mr. Cox and his family.” Douglass also noted that no one at Fort Wainwright has that authority.
There’s an arraignment scheduled for next Monday, November 28.