Four former Army soldiers and a civilian have been charged in new indictments for connections to an anti-government militia that authorities say was led by Fort Stewart troops who stockpiled weapons and talked of ultimately overthrowing the U.S. government.
A Liberty County grand jury indicted the five on charges of illegal gang activity and various counts involving theft, burglary and auto break-ins. Those crimes were committed to help fund the militia group, which called itself F.E.A.R., short for Forever Enduring Always Ready, District Attorney Tom Durden said Tuesday.
"The burglaries and entering autos, they were committed in an effort to fund F.E.A.R. and what F.E.A.R. was at least advocating they wanted to accomplish," said Durden, the top prosecutor for southeast Georgia's Atlantic Judicial Circuit. Their plans included bombing a Savannah park fountain and poisoning apple crops in the state of Washington, prosecutors say.
The new indictments Monday bring to 10 the total number of people charged in connection with the militia group.
I actually got a little info from one of my sources who did a little work with this case, and he said that it was in many ways very helpful to the case that these individuals were in the military, as it affords the Feds more leeway in doing their investigations. Apparently when you are in the military Uncle Sam calls the shots, and the rights that civilians take for granted are not always applicable to military personnel.
I also learned that the minute that the Feds knew about these guys they were under 24 hour surveillance and that there was never any real danger that they could pull off any of their schemes.
I felt a sense of relief at that news.