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Another former soldier has pleaded guilty for his role in an anti-government militia authorities say is responsible for the execution-style murder of two teenagers in the Georgia woods in late 2011.
Timothy Joiner, a 22-year-old Iraq War veteran, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Liberty County, Ga., to more than 30 charges of burglary, financial-transaction-card thefts, and violations of the Georgia Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act among other crimes, according to the Associated Press.
The AP quoted the lead prosecutor in the case, Isabel Pauley, as saying Joiner’s crime wave was an attempt to raise enough money to bail another member of the militia out of jail. Joiner was arrested before that could happen.
The militia known as Forever Enduring Always Ready, or FEAR, was based at Fort Stewart, a sprawling Army base in Georgia. More than 10 members of the group have been arrested since Michael Roark, 19, a recently discharged soldier who served at the base, and his girlfriend, Tiffany York, 17, a high school junior, were found shot to death in the woods not far from the base shortly before Christmas 2011.
The young sweethearts had each been shot twice in the head. Pauley told the Intelligence Report last fall that the couple was killed to keep them from revealing what they knew about FEAR and its plot to overthrow the government through a campaign of terrorist attacks and political assassinations. Authorities said Roark had helped the militia purchase nearly $90,000 worth of weapons and bomb-making materials before he apparently grew disillusioned with FEAR and left the Army. He and York were killed a few days after his discharge.
Four members of FEAR, including its leader, Pvt. Isaac Aguigui, have been charged with their murder.
Joiner was not involved in the killings. Pauley told the AP that FEAR was split into different cells. Joiner belonged to the cell responsible for raising money for the group. He was trying to rob and steal enough money for bail for the leader of his cell, Adam Dearman, when he was arrested.
Authorities said Joiner pleaded guilty as a first-time offender and was sentenced to five years in prison and 10 years probation.
He is at least the third member of FEAR to plead guilty. After he was indicted last year, Joiner refused comment to the AP, except for declaring, “I’m a proud Republican.’’