Federal prosecutors are asking a judge to put Fairbanks militia leader Schaeffer Cox behind bars until he's in his mid-60s, and to sentence two militia members, Lonnie and Karen Vernon, to what is effectively life imprisonment.
In June, an Anchorage jury convicted Cox, the 28-year-old founder of the Alaska Peacemaker Militia, and 57-year-old militia soldier Lonnie Vernon of plotting to kill law enforcement officials and conspiring to obtain gun silencers and grenades with which to carry out attacks. In a separate case, Lonnie and his 66-year-old wife, Karen, pleaded guilty in August, admitting they had planned to kill a federal judge and an Internal Revenue Service Officer while the couple was embroiled in a legal dispute over property taxes.
Prosecutors are recommending sentences of 26 1/2 years for Lonnie Vernon for both convictions and 15 1/2 years for Karen Vernon. Lonnie Vernon is asking for a sentence of 21 years, 10 months. Karen Vernon is asking for five years. The couple's sentencing hearing is set for Monday.
According to a sentencing memorandum filed in court this week, prosecutors recommend that Cox spend 35 years in prison. A judge is scheduled to sentence Cox at a hearing Tuesday. Cox's Seattle-based attorney, Peter Camiel, says he will ask the judge for a sentence of 10 years.
Camiel and Cox's attorney at trial, Nelson Traverso, have said the militia members merely made plans to react with violence in the event of a collapse of the federal government and that no attacks were imminent. Prosecutors say the militia, at Cox's direction, took clear steps toward committing murder, including compiling a "hit list," conducting surveillance on possible targets and amassing a huge cache of weapons, some of them illegal to own.
Well it should come as no surprise to anybody that I think they should throw the book at Cox. As well as the Vernons.
In doing so I think it would send a clear message to all of those camouflage wearing, automatic weapon hoarding, militia assholes, that if THEY decide to start threatening Federal officials, or amassing a huge arsenal with the mindset that it will someday be used against our military, that they TOO may soon find themselves spending decades behind bars living in abject fear of accidentally dropping a bar of soap in the shower.
Oh and by the way, to any militia douchebags who might be reading this, Barack Obama is STILL our President.