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Alaska Militia Leader Arrested in Plot to Kill Troopers and a Judge

By Heidi Beirich on March 11, 2011 - 2:04 pm, Posted in Extremist Crime, Patriot Groups

The Anchorage Daily News is reporting this morning that five people in the Fairbanks area were arrested yesterday on charges connected with a plot to kidnap or kill state troopers and a Fairbanks judge. They are accused of conspiring to commit murder, kidnapping, and arson, as well as weapons misconduct, hindering prosecution and tampering with evidence. One of those arrested, Francis “Schaeffer” Cox, 26, is the head of the Alaska Peacemakers Militia, which the Southern Poverty Law Center lists as an antigovernment “Patriot” group.

The four others arrested with Cox are Lonnie Vernon, Karen Vernon, Coleman Barney and Michael Anderson. The announcement of these arrests as well as the arrest on Wednesday of a white supremacist suspect in the attempted bombing of a Martin Luther King Day parade, are another reminder, in the wake of hearings held yesterday by Rep. Peter King that specifically focused on Islamic-inspired terrorism, that domestic terrorist groups can be just as dangerous.

Cox and his compatriots had allegedly already begun planning their activities, according to a statement released by the Alaska State Troopers. The troopers’ investigation showed that “extensive surveillance on troopers in the Fairbanks area had occurred, specifically on the locations of the homes for two Alaska state troopers.” The statement also said that, “Cox et. al. had acquired a large cache of weapons in order to carry out attacks against their targeted victims. Some of the weapons known to be in the cache are prohibited by state or federal law.”

Cox, who self-identifies as a “sovereign citizen,” believes that the government has no authority over him or his fellow self-declared sovereigns. Made up of an estimated 300,000 participants, the sprawling sovereign citizens subculture advocates the idea that the sovereigns themselves — not judges, juries, law enforcement or elected officials — get to decide which laws to obey and which to ignore. Most don’t think they should have to pay taxes.

Sovereign citizens have long targeted judges and law enforcement officers Just this past May 20, two law enforcement officers were killed and two others were wounded by a father-son pair of sovereign citizens in West Memphis, Ark. In 1995 in Ohio, a sovereign named Michael Hill pulled a gun on an officer during a traffic stop. Hill was killed. In 1997, New Hampshire extremist Carl Drega shot dead two officers and two civilians, and wounded another three officers before being killed himself. In that same year in Idaho, when brothers Doug and Craig Broderick were pulled over for failing to signal, they killed one officer and wounded another before being killed themselves in a violent gun battle. (Because of the danger this movement presents to law enforcement, the SPLC produced a training video about sovereign citizens).

Cox’s made his extremist views clear during a December court appearance where he was charged with misdemeanor weapons charges. He defiantly told the judge that he would not attend any further court hearing until the court explained its authority over him. “Based on the evidence, I deny the Alaska Court System is the real judiciary,” Cox said according to The Associated Press. Some of Cox’s language was threatening. “There’s a lot of people that would just as soon come and kill you in the night than come in your courtroom and argue during the day,” Cox told District Judge Jane Kauvar that day.

When he was arrested yesterday, Cox had an outstanding arrest warrant because he failed to appear at another hearing related to his misdemeanor weapons charges.

Cox is involved in more than his Fairbanks militia group and the sovereign citizens movement. He ran something called the Liberty Bell Network, a far-right service that alerts its members when someone believes their rights are being violated. Cox was also listed a delegate for the 2009 We The People (WTP) Continental Congress, an event that brought together a whole host of antigovernment extremists and issued a radical document entitled “Articles of Freedom.” The document declared that the federal government a “threat” to “our Life, Liberty and Property through usurpations of the Constitution.” It demanded President Obama produce his birth documents and called for the repeal of all social service spending. Taking a page from the sovereign citizens movement, it demanded an end to driver’s licenses, auto registration and insurance and rejected the existing legal system, calling instead for the creation of “randomly empanelled citizens’ common law grand juries” to determine when a trial will take place.

  • http://N/A VirginKiller

    We have come accross an infiltrater here in the Second Amendment Militia, soon we will treminate his membership. Play with the big boys and go down hard.
    Send another pig in for the slaughter, won’t do you no good, we trust NO one!

  • Tyrone Mixon

    Don’t these people realize how infiltrated they are? Only fools tread where angels dare to go.

  • Thaufeer al-Deen

    Alaska!? Hmmm
    Spc Jeremy Murlock of the 5th USA Stryker Brigade just plead guilty of inentionally murdering unarmed, non-suspect Afghan civilians, posing with the remains as one would an animal harvested in a hunt, and maiming the corpses for souvenirs.
    Murlock is from Wasila, AL, you know, the city where ‘put’em in the cross hairs Palin was Mayor.
    Palin for president…git real

  • Sam Molloy

    Alaska would be a good place to put all these people, I mean the ones who aren’t already there.

  • ModerateMike

    I’m curious about how people like this, who want to abolish state-issued drivers licences, would be interested in or even trust the President’s birth certificate, which is maintained by the Office of Vital Statistics in each state (Hawaii in this case) if I am not mistaken. Yes, I know that that is not the same as the certificate of live birth, which is completed by the hospital staff, but I doubt that the sovereigns would trust that, either.

  • CalperniaUSA

    Rep. Don Young Signed Militia Leader’s Revolutionary Declaration


    A video posted online in June 2009 shows Alaska Congressman Don Young signing a revolutionary “Letter of Declaration” written by Alaska militia leader Schaeffer Cox, who was arrested yesterday along with four compatriots for allegedly plotting to kidnap and murder Alaska State Troopers and a Fairbanks judge.

    “Let it be known that should our government seek to further tax, restrict or register firearms … thus impairing our ability to exercise the God-given right to self-defense that precedes all human legislation and is superior to it, that the duty of us good and faithful people will not be to obey them but to alter or abolish them,” reads the declaration that Rep. Young signed.

    Most of the 10-minute video consists of Cox discussing Second Amendment rights and sovereign citizen ideology in what appears to be his office, with a shotgun and assault rifle leaning against the wall.


  • Ian

    Is the Alaska Peacemakers Militia secessionist? I hadn’t thought of that until Reynardine pointed it out.

  • Reynardine

    Interesting to find out if there’s a connection to the Alaskan secessionist movement and the Palins.