Alaska Militia Trial

Prosecutors are painting three Fairbanks-area militia members as dangerous conspirators who amassed a cache of weapons and plotted to kill government officials.

Attorneys gave opening statements Tuesday in the federal trials of Schaeffer Cox of Fairbanks, Coleman Barney of North Pole and Lonnie Vernon of Salcha. The men have been in jail since being arrested 14 months ago.

The attorney for the Cox, the leader of Alaska Peace Makers Militia group, says his client would never plot to murder anyone. However, Nelson Traverso acknowledges Cox has a tendency to shoot his mouth off.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Yvonne Lamoureux says statements by the men went beyond vocal threats and that fully automatic machine guns, silencers and grenades were part of their weapons cache. She also says the murder conspiracies were recorded.