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Accused Alaska Militia Leader Boasted of Rockets, Bombs, Cavalry

By Bill Morlin on September 13, 2011 - 5:02 pm, Posted in Sovereign Citizens

Alaska militia leader Francis Schaeffer Cox discussed “overthrowing the federal government by violent means” after establishing a common law court system and recruiting a 3,500-member militia, new court documents disclose.

“It is not a rag-tag deal,” Cox boasted of his Alaska Peacemakers Militia, claiming it has a medical unit, with doctors and surgeons, and engineers “that make GPS jammers, cell phone jammers, bombs and all sorts of nifty stuff.”

“We’ve got airplanes with laser-acquisition stuff and we’ve got rocket … and grenade launchers and claymores and machine guns and cavalry and we’ve got boats,” Cox said in a speech secretly recorded by the FBI.  “It’s all set.”

Cox, who calls himself a sovereign citizen, gave the speech in 2009 in Montana, a state that continues as a hotbed of antigovernment extremist activity.

What’s not known is how much of Cox’s speech was fantasy and how much was fact.

What is known is that he left Montana for Alaska, where he was arrested in March on charges of being at the center of a militia plot to kill Alaska state troopers and a federal judge, along with amassing an arsenal of legal and illegal firearms.

The 27-year-old antigovernment activist remains in jail in Alaska, facing trial on federal charges for possessing inert hand grenades, a fully automatic machine gun and riot-control gear including tears gas and rubber-bullet grenades.

As his attorneys prepare his defense, the U.S. Attorney’s Office is turning over various FBI reports and documents detailing how agents were monitoring Cox’s activities, beginning as early as 2009, when he was organizing anti-government activities in western Montana. Those documents, filed under seal, include transcripts of various speeches Cox delivered.

The FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office are “aware of the line between First Amendment protected speech and conduct which is actionable,” according to a public court document filed last week in U.S. District Court in Anchorage.

In a speech delivered in Montana in 2009, Cox claims he and his followers

have developed their own court system — a “common law court” designed to replace the existing court system.

The location where Cox made the speech isn’t provided in the court document, but it’s thought to have occurred in either Flathead, Lincoln or Ravalli counties in western Montana, where Cox spent much of his time.

During that speech, Cox was asked what the common law court system would do in the case of capital crime, including murder.

It would be up to the victim or the victim’s family, Cox responded, to decide if they wanted to kill the offender or use him or her as a slave. “That person is owned by the person they violated, and they can sell him or they can kill him,” Cox said,  “and these concepts are right out of the Old Testament.”

Earlier, the court document says, Cox explained that his common law court system was up and running, “dealing with a lot of contract disputes, petty crimes, uh, that kind of thing.”

Cox claimed the local, elected prosecutor “is just letting us deal with that, just letting us have it, and not messing with us. He comes to our meetings sometimes.  Sometimes he’s a heckler, but he’s giving us our space.”

Flathead County Prosecutor Ed Corrigan, reached for comment by Hatewatch, said he had never heard of Cox.

“I can assure you, even if he was here in Flathead County, I can’t recall hearing about him and I certainly didn’t have any dealings with him,” Corrigan said. “It sounds to me like he’s just lying right out his ass.”

Likewise, Bernard Cassidy, the prosecuting attorney in neighboring Lincoln County, Mont., said he, too, wasn’t familiar with Cox.

“I doubt the truth of that,” Cassidy said when asked about Cox’s claim that a prosecutor in Montana attended common law court sessions.

Bill Fulbright, the prosecutor in Ravalli County, couldn’t be reached for comment.

  • Aron


    I couldn’t agree with you more. There are too many places to hide and too many people to hurt in that beautiful state.

    If there’s any veracity in what Cox is saying, this man must be stopped. And sooner rather than later.


  • Simplecop


    I would make fun of him too, and I think he deserves it…a lot. If what he is saying is the truth…even half truth…he could be a real danger to those that he doesn’t like or thinks are his enemies.

    If in fact he has 3500 followers, that is far more bad guys (and gals) than the State Troopers. This clown can do some serious harm to the good people of AK. Let’s hope that this doesn’t happen.

    I join you in your poking fun at a dimmly lit candle, but I also feel for the people of AK and wish them the best against this possible true evil.

  • Aron

    Harold, no matter how you spin this, it all sounds ridiculous. I wasn’t commenting on his illegal behavior. I was making fun of him. Pure and simple.

    The only thing he deserves is derision.

  • Harold Hall

    Cox may be speaking in short-hand and all-inclusive jargon (e.g., “claymores” instead of claymore mines; “stuff” for a wide assortment of weaponry and electronic gear). He may have meant for “calvary” an “armed cavalry” which then does not sound ridiculous. The U.S. Attorney’s office does not arrest and charge individuals for these types of offenses unless they can back up those charges with evidence at several levels of certainty that could very well lead to conviction. At a minimum, commentators should get the facts before commenting on his alleged unlawful behaviors.

  • A walkaway

    In Alaska, I wonder if the horse might actually be useful.

    Muskeg, forests, marshes/swamps… lots of places where vehicles can’t go.

  • marta kaye

    This reminds me of the Alaska Independent Party that Palin praised and her husband once was a member. He dropped out when Palin ran for VP. Does anyone know if there is a connection? The leader Joe Vogler was killed.

  • skinnyminny

    Wow! If I’m not mistaken, this ‘common law court,’ sounds familiar – Shari’a courts! Meaning, this common law court would rather have their own court system, independent of the legal and recognize court system of this country.

    So, if this court can operate, why not Shari’a courts?

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    Cavalry still had uses but the advantage they had from being on horseback in combat had been pretty much nullified if not reversed. When I think of cavalry advantages I’m thinking back to the domestication of the horse, the ability to ride from a control position, and the dominance of Steppe peoples over civilized peoples up to the development of firearms.

    Cavalry was useful in the Polish-Soviet war(and WWII for that matter) mainly because that area of Ukraine, Belarus, Western Russia, etc. has a lot of swampland, particularly the Pripyat marshes.

  • CM

    The cavalry thing would help explain why Cox was so excited about having “claymores,” which are swords. Unless he was referring to Claymore mines, which are a horse of a different color, so to speak.

  • Aron


    It wasn’t so much the invention of the firearm that relegated cavalry to the history books as it was the machine gun. Cavalry was still viable, even crucial during the Russo-Polish War of 1919-1920.

    Though I’m sure you already knew that :)


  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    Apparently these people haven’t heard that the invention of firearms has greatly reduced the effectiveness of cavalry.

  • Aron

    They have cavalry? Maybe that means they have lancers, too! That’d be SOOOO cool! And cuirassiers! And uhlans! And dragoons! And chasseurs à chevals!

    (Sorry, I’m a cavalry enthusiast. I couldn’t help but comment on the ridiculous nature of Cox’s statements…)