Anti-Government Militia Plotters Headed to Prison

     (CN) – Three men in Georgia who tried to buy pipe bombs for their anti-government militia will each spend 12 years in federal prison, a court ruled.
     Brian Cannon, Terry Peace and Cory Williamson had planned an attack last year that they hoped would cripple the Transportation Security Administration, the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Administration, prosecutors said.
     The trio spoke about their plans in online chat groups with other militia members, saying their work would bring martial law upon the land, and that fellow revolutionaries should add to the hysteria with their own attacks, according to the indictment.
     Prosecutors said Cannon and Williamson had moved into Peace’s home in Rome, Ga., ahead of their Feb. 1, 2014, launch date.
     Peace spoke in the anti-government chatrooms about the need for other militia men to brush up on guerilla-warfare tactics and prepare their families for the upcoming conflict, according to a statement from the Justice Department.
     In addition to crippling certain government agencies, Cannon, Peace and Williamson planned to use the attacks to force out officials who they thought were acting outside of their constitutional authority.
     Apparently a member of the chat group Cannon, Peace and Williamson frequented became worried about their scheme and agreed to help the government arrest them.
     After getting fake pipe bombs and thermite devices from the FBI, the informant drove to Georgia where he met up with the three men, according to the indictment.
     Authorities arrested Peace, Cannon and Williamson as they received the weapons.
     The three men pleaded guilty in May to charges of conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction, court documents show.
     They were sentenced in Atlanta on Friday. In addition to the time behind bars, the three men will have five years of supervised release and have to perform 100 hours of community service.
     “In this case, anti-government ideology and rhetoric morphed into dangerous extremism and led these defendants to arm themselves and travel to a meeting to pick up pipe bombs and other explosives intended for attacks,” U.S. Attorney John Horn said in a statement. “The attacks planned by the defendants, while rare, posed a serious threat to not only the safety of our public servants, but also all other members of the community.”

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