Patriot Crimes

'Mark From Michigan' goes to prison

Militia activist Mark Koernke, long known as "Mark from Michigan" on his conspiracy-mongering shortwave radio show, has been sentenced to three years in prison for assaulting and fleeing police.

Koernke, who once warned of secret Hong Kong police leading a United Nations takeover of the U.S., happened to be sitting in his car last year as a nearby bank was robbed. Although he was uninvolved in the robbery, Koernke fled when police tried to question him.

After a 40-mile interstate chase and fender-benders with two of the six police cars chasing him, Koernke crashed into a tree and tried to escape by swimming across a pond.

It was strangely similar to a 1998 case in which Koernke, after jumping bail on an assault charge that was eventually dropped, tried to flee police by swimming across an icy lake.

Koernke supporters were unhappy with the three-year sentence, and even planned a rally to "Free Mark Koernke."

"This show trial," wrote one disgruntled ally, "was exactly like the ones they used to hold during the dictatorship of Josef Stalin in the USSR."