A young militia leader from Alaska and two of his followers are facing long prison terms after being found guilty of numerous charges. Schaeffer Cox, the 28-year-old leader of the Alaska Peacemaker Militia, was found guilty of amassing illegal weapons and conspiring to murder federal law enforcement officers, reports the Anchorage Daily News. Cox, a leading figure in the "sovereign citizen" movement, came to the FBI's attention in 2009 after speeches in Montana in which he claimed that his group had 3,500 armed men in Fairbanks who were willing to kill to protect liberty.
An FBI informant infiltrated Cox's group—which in reality only had around a dozen members—and he was arrested along with three others after trying to buy hand grenades and silenced pistols from an undercover agent. In conversations recorded by the informant, Cox, who argues that the federal government has no authority over him, outlined a plan to kill two federal agents for every dead militia member. Cox's lawyers argued that he was being prosecuted for his ideas and the militia leader himself told the court that the group felt it needed to prepare itself for the imminent collapse of the federal government. "The prosecutors withheld evidence from you guys," he shouted to the jury as the guilty verdicts were read out.