An Alaska militiaman and former Ron Paul campaign worker was sentenced on Tuesday to 26 years in prison for a plot to kidnap and murder state and federal officials.
Schaeffer Cox, 28, was arrested in March 2011 after authorities learned he planned to dodge a court hearing and go underground, protected by several fellow militia members who’d stockpiled weapons. The group allegedly hatched a plan to kidnap and kill police, judges and other officials they believed were a threat to the republic.
“Well, I put myself here, with my own words, and I feel horrible about that, and I hurt my family, and that’s who’s really paying, and I feel horrible about that,” Cox said Tuesday in court, according to Reuters. “I put a lot of people in fear by the things I said and the crazy stuff that was coming out of my mouth.”
Cox was the founder of the Alaska Peacekeepers Militia, a group that also claimed Lonnie and Karen Vernon as members. Both Vernons were sentenced to 26 years in prison over a plot to kill a federal judge over an income tax ruling that cost them their home.
Federal agents allegedly recorded Cox discussing his plan to kill officials with the Vernons, saying they would engage in “guerrilla warfare” against police officers by sabotaging their homes and working in teams to kill as many people as possible.
He also ran for the Alaska House of Representatives in 2008, winning approximately 37 percent of the vote in a Republican primary. That same year he ran the presidential primary campaign for Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) in Alaska.
Cox’s legal troubles began in 2010 after he was arrested for assaulting his wife. He later drew a weapons charge during a confrontation with an officer who was searching someone else’s property. Cox claimed he was on the scene to ensure the police were not abusing their powers.
He ultimately pleaded for leniency after a psychiatric evaluation claimed he suffers from paranoid delusions, an acute personality disorder and schizophrenia.
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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