Undercover videos in Alaska militia trial show surprise arrests

From Richard Mauer and Kyle Hopkins in Anchorage --

This video, combined from several exhibits presented to the jury in the Fairbanks militia trial underway in Anchorage, highlights key moments in the case. Read more about the conspiracy trial of Alaska Peacemakers Militia members here:

What you're seeing
The video was recorded by confidential informant Gerald Olson using a hidden camera provided by the FBI. The first segments were filmed in defendant Lonnie Vernon's house in Salcha, where militia commander Schaeffer Cox was hiding out with his family to avoid a trial on a misdemeanor state weapons charge.

Cox, in his trademark newsboy's cap, says he could tolerate going to jail, but it would be "killing time" if the authorities took his family; Vernon and Cox talk about going to war against authorities; and Cox thinks that the only thing keeping the authorities from killing him is the "cost" that would be inflicted by the militia, but later says he doesn't think the militia is strong enough to sustain a long-term conflict.

The last two clips, taken with Olson's hidden camera and two more hidden in his vehicle, are of the "take down" sting on March 10, 2011, first of Vernon (in front passenger seat) and his wife Karen, then of Cox (in rear seat) and codefendant Coleman Barney as each examines a silencer-equipped .22 pistol and a hand grenade obtained from an FBI informant.

The Cox and Barney bust was compromised when a man walked up and pointed out the "whole line of guys out there with bulletproof vests."

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