The attorney for militia leader Schaeffer Cox filed court papers that accuse an FBI informant of inciting his client to plan violent attacks on the government.
Nelson Traverso also said in his brief filed Monday that the informant who infiltrated the militia took actions "analogous to kidnapping" to keep Cox in Alaska, according to Wednesday's Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.
In his brief, Traverso said Cox decided to leave the state in February rather than get into a confrontation with state authorities who had issued a warrant for his arrest on previous, unrelated charges.
Cox was impeded by FBI informant Gerald "JR" Olson, referred to as confidential informant 1 in court documents, Traverso said. Olson had recently been convicted of running a fraudulent septic tank business in Palmer and received a lower sentence in exchange for investigating Cox for the FBI.
"With the benefit of hindsight, it is easy to see that CI-1 (Olson) was desperate and did what he did in order to create a situation where he would be the hero, and thereby benefit his own penal interests," Traverso said.
Cox's lawyer is seeking to have a federal judge dismiss charges of owning illegal weapons based on the conduct of the informant.
Cox has provided the court with his account of interactions with Olson in February when Cox was facing an arrest warrant for two misdemeanor charges. Cox the previous spring had been charged with weapons misconduct when a Fairbanks police officer said he failed to give notice he was carrying a concealed pistol.
In that case, Cox showcased his Sovereign Citizen ideology, telling a judge he is not subject to state law because he does not believe the government has any authority.
A bench warrant and a second misdemeanor charge for failing to appear was issued after Cox did not attend his Feb. 14 jury trial in District Court in Fairbanks.
On Feb. 19, Cox said he concluded it was in the "best interest of everyone" for him to leave the state, according to Cox's affidavit. He said Olson told him of a sympathetic trucker who could drive him out of the state.
But as the weeks went by, he said Olson kept thinking of new excuses for why the trucker had not arrived. Cox also said his family lost the use of its vehicle about this time because Olson took the battery out of it with a promise to replace it but he never did.
Cox said by this time Olson had worn out his welcome in the militia because he did not obey orders and repeatedly advocated using violence. He said the militia tolerated his presence because of the promise to help provide transportation out of Alaska.
Cox and four others were arrested March 10. They were charged with conspiracy to commit murder in a now-dropped state case that accused them of planning to kill Alaska State Troopers and court officials. The case was dropped in October after a state judge ruled evidence collected by FBI informants without a search warrant was not admissible in state court.
Four of the five original defendants remain jailed on federal charges. Cox and militia members Lonnie Vernon and Coleman Barney are accused of owning illegal weapons. Lonnie and his wife, Karen Vernon, are accused of threatening the life of a federal judge and IRS staff over a tax dispute.