Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Alaska State Charges vs. "Sovereign Citizen" Schaeffer Cox, et. al.

"Alaska militia charged in murder-kidnap plot."

(Reuters) - Five Fairbanks-area residents involved in a loose-knit militia group have been arrested in connection with a plot to kidnap or kill Alaska state troopers and a local judge, federal and state authorities said on Friday.

The group includes Francis "Schaeffer" Cox, the 26-year-old leader of the so-called "citizen sovereignty" movement, which considers individuals to be sovereign nations not subject to any state or federal laws.

Cox and his associates had developed an extensive plan to launch their attacks, the troopers said in a statement.

They had already conducted extensive surveillance on Fairbanks-area troopers, locating the homes of two troopers, and acquired a large cache of weapons, some of them illegal, according to the statement.

According to prosecutors, the weapons amassed by the group included machine guns, multiple assault rifles, multiple pineapple grenades, at least one grenade launcher, dozens of high-powered rifles and pistols and thousands of rounds of ammunition.

The five are charged with conspiring to commit murder, kidnapping and arson, weapons misconduct, hindering prosecution and tampering with evidence, the troopers said. They were arrested late on Thursday without incident, the troopers said.

One of those arrested, 56-year-old Lonnie Vernon, was charged with threatening to kill U.S. District Court Judge Ralph Beistline and a member of Beistline's family.

According to the grand jury indictment issued on February 17 and unsealed Friday, Vernon was seeking retaliation against Beistline for rulings in a case in which Vernon and his wife have been found to owe about $166,000 in back taxes.

Vernon on Friday pleaded not guilty to the two counts facing him, threatening murder of a federal judge and threatening murder of a judge's family member. He faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted on each charge, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Vernon's wife, Karen Vernon, was among the five people arrested in the case, but she was not charged in the federal indictment.

The five defendants were arraigned later Friday in state court in Fairbanks. Charges against them were filed under seal on Monday, and bail had been set at $2 million for each.

The investigation and arrests were coordinated by federal, state and local law-enforcement officials.

Cox has become a minor celebrity in Alaska for his outspoken views and flamboyant style.

He ran for the state legislature in 2008, has identified himself as a good friend and associate of unsuccessful Tea Party-supported U.S. Senate candidate Joe Miller and has tangled with law enforcement officers over domestic-violence charges and weapons charges. At the time of his arrest Thursday, he was the subject of a warrant for failure to appear in court on a weapons charge.

AP says, in part:

A Fairbanks court issued an arrest warrant for Cox, who has claimed to be the leader of a militia, after he failed to attend his own trial for a misdemeanor weapons misconduct charge last month, the Fairbanks News-Miner reported.

Cox had been charged with failing to disclose his possession of a concealed handgun in the presence of a police officer. He also now faces a charge of failing to appear. Both offenses are Class B misdemeanors.

Cox has used his case to challenge the authority of the Alaska Court System, calling himself a sovereign citizen and claiming the court is a for-profit corporation.

Criminal complaints here and here.

An earlier explanation by Cox about his status as a "sovereign citizen."


Dr.D said...

perhaps an object lesson on how NOT to do it?


Pat H. said...

It sounds like they're using or attempting to use the Uniform Commercial Code, federal law, to make their claims.

It's always sad to see someone who thinks that the US government is bound by its own rules and laws, something that has never been true.

We have the "failure to inform" law here in South Carolina, we're working on eliminating it. It's made for a LEO to testi-lie in court.

Dakota said...

Sounds kind of like the old days to me Mike ....taxes, judges, the judges enforcement arm, refusing to appear in court ..... hmmmmmm.

Anonymous said...

"Cox had been charged with failing to disclose his possession of a concealed handgun in the presence of a police officer."

This is unusual. Most Alaska cops have little or no concern for your concealed handgun. I suspect Cox is being singled out for his political views.

However, threatening to kill a federal judge makes the matter moot. ;^)

Cox may be thankful that he is to be tried in Alaska, where the populace is generally antagonistic toward the fedgov and juries are reluctant to convict on weapons-related charges.


Anonymous said...

"According to prosecutors, the weapons amassed by the group included machine guns, multiple assault rifles, multiple pineapple grenades, at least one grenade launcher, dozens of high-powered rifles and pistols and thousands of rounds of ammunition."

Notice how the .gov indicates by the above commentary that ownership of multiple firearms and "thousands" of rounds of ammo, in and of itself is indicative of criminal behavior ?

I'd like to see what .gov is calling "machine-guns", "pineapple grenades" and "one grenade launcher" !

In the meantime Holder is releasing Mexican murderers in the Agent Terry case and allowing them to leave the country.


tom said...

Does the BATFE have a "Operation MG and DD Runner" program to sell MGs and DDs to "sovereign citizens" yet? If not, they should complain they paid too much and their couriers didn't have fed escorts to and from points of sale.

Anonymous said...

Alaska has Constitutional carry. How can you be charged with failing to disclose if you are carrying in a Constitutional carry state?

Anonymous said...

I watchers a few of his youtube videos a couple of years ago. My first thought on mr cox was that he was either very intelligent or full of shit. So I thought ill just keep an eye on him and not pass judgement. I've heard about his domestic trouble, conceal trouble, and now this. Im starting to think they really don't like him and are setting him up...or maybe he did plan what they say. I don't know. Up is down and down is up these days. Wait and see I guess.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this Mike. Guilty, stupid, foolish, or not; militia minded folks should pay attention to the outcome. Feds are involved and this will set precedence.

Anonymous said...

So whatever happened to the mutual defense packs? If we had any teeth we'd bust him out.
All hypothetical discussion of course.

Anonymous said...

Well of course he's been singled out. Without commenting on the validity or lack of validity possessed by his claims, I can say for a fact that he has repeatedly challenged and pissed off the local LEO and "authorities". For instance, telling the troopers you have them outnumbered and can take them at any time may be in fact true, but is rather foolish.

Game over for Schaeffer.


Dedicated_Dad said...

Continued from last post...

NOBODY can accuse this kid of being an internet-tough-guy -- he smiles politely in the dragon's face as he's bearding it, and basically dares it to stop him.


I'm not sure how I feel or what I THINK about all this "sovereign" stuff. I've read a fair amount of info on it before, looked up cites that were quoted, and found that they did indeed matched the quotes profferred.

Still, I lack the knowledge to know if they REALLY support the conclusions drawn -- after all, with "proper" cherry-picking it's easy to show where Jesus told us all - right in the bible - to go out and hang ourselves.

With that in mind - and the consequences of being WRONG so dire - I'm not inclined to follow their lead.

Naturally, they could very well BE 100% correct in every conclusion -- which we all know means a fat fiddler's flatulence when a stack of jackboots in ninja-suits decide to pay you an unannounced visit at oh-dark-thirty and take you on a non-voluntary road-trip.

Obviously, I don't live in AK, much less Fairbanks, and have no idea what's been happening up there, but - unless he's being hyperbolic - it sounds like a situation between the kid's "militia" and both local and fed "LAW ENFORCEMENT" (emphasis intentional) has stewed a long time and now reached a hard, rolling boil.

Leviathan doesn't much appreciate being told to bugger-off, especially not as plainly as the young man did in the linked vid -- in court and on the record.

Honestly, I'd have been surprised if that didn't provoke a reaction, and - under the (apparent) circumstances - one would have to expect them to take him down, and on serious enough charges to justify holding him incommunicado.

I sincerely pray they're not stupid enough to let *ANYTHING* happen to him -- if his "militia" is more than the 5 they rolled up with him, I've a bad feeling about what might happen if he was to so much as bump his head.

As to the "arsenal", well... We all know how that works. Heck - I'd hate to see what they'd make of my actually rather-(relatively-)meager "collection." Add in a "complaint-dept, please take a number" plaque, a Yugo SKS (GRENADE LAUNCHER!) and... (roll-eyes)...

Regardless, this whole thing bears watching - for a bunch of reasons.

Do yourself a favor, get some popcorn and watch the vids - if nothing else it's entertaining as all heck!


Nemesis said...


Another 'possible' patriot, who probably shares our views and aims more than not, is taken out of the game, and all we can do is to decide whether or not he's a nut job, ideologically impure, premature as to action, loose lipped, rash or some other excuse for why we neither emulate nor support him?

When they come for you, will it be just as lonely? Who will stand by you (us)?

Niemoller said it clearly way back in the last century when the model totalitarian state had its day.

I don't have the answer but we had better come up with it damned soon.

aughtsix said...

Sounds to me like he made a case most of us could relate to or at least sympathize with.

Whether or not we think he has a prayer of making it stick, or even of surviving or escaping incarceration, is moot.

Usually years after the fact, we cononize those who lay down their lives for the principles of Liberty... if Liberty survives to permit us to do so.


Gaviota said...

I wonder how the Feds knew what his armory contained, and what his alleged plans were?

Informant, or agent provocateur?

Anonymous said...

"So whatever happened to the mutual defense packs?"

They don't apply to nutcases. Almost every guy claiming to be a "sovereign citizen" has been one.

Either that, or they beat their women and/or have anger management issues.

Mark Matis said...

For Gaviots:
You KNOW the answer to that. Which is why "lone wolf" is the way to go if you possibly can. Difficult for them to insert an Informant or Agent Provocateur unless they're in your computer (which is a good reason to avoid Microsoft products, by the way).

And if you can't do "lone wolf"? Be VERY wary of "Law Enforcement" participation. It isn't only MUSLIMS who fully endorse Taqiah.

Anonymous said...


From a reliable source, this was much the same as past events of a similar nature. While I wasn't personally there, I am nearly certain that there was someone involved who had been enticed to steer and record conversations.

I am almost certain that most, if not all, of what we are being fed is a lie.

Because of this, surveillance in my state will be stepped up, and Cox will be systematically isolated, demonized, and destroyed while all who claimed to be his friend desert him.

I might not have chose the fight he did, and I don't know if there was a real plot on a judge or not. I mostly doubt it.

Funny though, the people who claim to fear and distrust the government the most are the ones to swallow its propaganda the fastest when something happens.


Anonymous said...

First, this is a very biased report, and the video is unprofessional with spelling errors that show serious ignorance. Your report is the only of its kind to claim he and others tried to kidnap and on handgun issues, which sounds more like police reporting here, then trying mockery of him on his rights is a sign of more ignorance on your part. His character, teachings and intelligence don't fit these charges, this seems to be a set up to attempt to scare the people since all of America and the world are at a breaking point of intolerance to lies and corruption. I also suggest you read the 2007 CLO2 report as to how the people of the world have been intentionally been subjected to controlled weather changes and planned genocide against the people for depopulation. Another so called Patriot ( you use as a dirty word) A Captain, military as gone missing, as many who speak out have done. You the media are participants in corruption and lies and should be indicted for your own crimes of deception and character asssasination of the people. It is all so sad when peace is so simple and good for everyone.