Prosecutors Seek 10 Years for Fairbanks Militia Foot Soldier
FAIRBANKS — The federal government is seeking a 10-year prison term for North Pole resident Coleman Barney for his role in the Alaska Peacemaker Militia led by Schaeffer Cox.
Barney is scheduled to be sentenced Monday in Anchorage.
Prosecutors, in a 51-page report filed Wednesday and continuing numerous supplements, said the sentence is warranted because of the severity of the crimes. An Anchorage jury convicted Barney earlier this summer on two weapons charges but deadlocked on a murder conspiracy charge.
The prosecutors’ pre-sentencing document includes details of an incident at the studio of North Pole radio station KJNP, where Cox had gone with an entourage to be interviewed.
“This is not a case where someone simply possessed an unregistered firearm in the closet of their home,” prosecutors wrote. “Barney led the security detail for Cox the night of KJNP with about five other individuals who were also armed and ready to kill for Cox. Barney was armed not just with his AR-15 assault rifle, but also the 37mm launcher loaded with a Hornet’s Nest anti-personnel round.
“Barney subsequently participated in conversations about killing government officials,” the document states. “Barney also opined about ways to be stronger to further that goal, such as recruiting and training, which are actions Barney previously took on behalf of Cox and his militia.”
Barney also, the document reads, harbored Cox and Cox’s weapons while Cox was a fugitive. “Then Barney made arrangements to purchase an unregistered silencer and went to an illegal weapons deal for grenades and silencers,” it continues.
Barney recruited people for Cox’s security detail and also found people to serve on what they referred to as a “common law court” to try Cox on charges that he had already been charged with or convicted on in state court. Those included an incident in which Cox was charged for failing to disclose his possession of a concealed handgun to a Fairbanks police officer.
“Barney was, in fact, a full fledged major — a leader — in Cox’s militia, was a trusted confidant and loyal compatriot,” the prosecutors wrote.
Cox, Barney and another man, Lonnie Vernon of Salcha, were convicted this summer in a lengthy federal trial in Anchorage in which they were charged with conspiracy to kill federal law enforcement officials and with possession of illegal weapons.
Cox and Vernon are scheduled to be sentenced November 19.
Contact Fairbanks Daily News-Miner managing editor Rod Boyce at 907-459-7585.