Militia Leader Pleads Not Guilty to Federal Weapons Charges

A Fairbanks militia leader and two other people have pleaded not guilty to federal weapons charges.

Militia leader Francis Schaeffer Cox, along with Coleman Barney and Lonnie Vernon, were arraigned Monday in U.S. District Court in Anchorage.

The men had been charged with plotting to kill Alaska State Troopers and court officials, but those state charges were dropped after a judge determined that audio and video recordings were obtained without a search warrant.

Jill Burke is a reporter for Alaska Dispatch and was in the courtroom this morning.

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Lori Townsend is the news director and senior host for Alaska Public Media. You can send her news tips and program ideas for Talk of Alaska and Alaska Insight at or call 907-550-8452.

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