Alaska militia leader Schaeffer Cox and his deputy Lonnie Vernon were each found guilty late Monday of the most serious charge against them, conspiracy to murder federal employees.
The Anchorage Daily News reports that the duo are facing life in prison. The jury reached verdicts on all 16 counts except for a conspiracy charge against a third man, Coleman Barney, according to the Alaska Dispatch.
In a courtroom outburst, Cox, 28, shouted to the jury that the “prosecutors withheld evidence from you guys!” Jurors reportedly declined to discuss the case with reporters.
Cox is a self-described “sovereign citizen” who led the Alaska Peacemaker Militia and Alaska Assembly Post. He was first arrested in March 2011. A superseding indictment against them was released in January which alleged the three defendants conspired to stockpile weapons (including hand grenades and grenade launchers) “in furtherance of their collective belief that at some undetermined and unknown point in the future they would be compelled to take up arms against the government.”
Cox alleged that gun dealer Bill Fulton, an informant for the FBI, fanned the flames of government overthrow. Another informant, Gerald “J.R.” Olson, was a drug runner for the Hell’s Angels before he began working for the feds.
The Cox case represents one of the federal government’s few successes against militia extremists. A case against members of the Hutaree militia in Michigan collapsed after the judge dropped the conspiracy charges against them.
The Anchorage Daily News put together a chart showing how the jury ruled on each count against the three men. They are scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 14.