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Alaska militia leader sentenced to nearly 26 years

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By The Associated Press
Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013, 8:02 p.m.

ANCHORAGE — A boyish-looking young man with a soft voice who spewed anti-government rhetoric and amassed weapons in a plot to kill federal law enforcement officials will spend nearly 26 years in a federal prison.

Schaeffer Cox was sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court on nine felony counts, including conspiracy and possessing illegal weapons. The 28-year-old is the third and last member of the Alaska Peacemakers Militia to be sentenced after authorities used an informant to infiltrate the group.

Cox came off at times as arrogant during his trial last spring, but he spoke with a very different demeanor during the two-hour sentencing hearing.

“I put myself here, with my own words,” he said, choking back tears. “And I feel horrible about that.”

Federal prosecutors portrayed Cox as a dangerous militia leader who helped stockpile a huge cache of illegal weapons while plotting a strategy to one day kill judges, state troopers and other government officials.

Cox got the attention of the FBI in late 2009 because of speeches in Montana that claimed the Fairbanks militia had 3,500 members and was armed with mines and other military weapons. But the group only had about a dozen members and, as Judge Robert Bryan noted, never trained for military duty.

The FBI eventually used an informant to infiltrate the group.

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