Superseding Indictment Returned by Federal Grand Jury Against Fairbanks Area Men for Conspiracy to Kill Federal Officers
Anchorage, Alaska – United States Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced today, January 23, 2012, that a federal grand jury in Anchorage has returned a superseding indictment against three Fairbanks area residents charging them with additional federal offenses, including conspiracy to kill federal officers and employees.
Named as defendants in the superseding indictment are Fairbanks area residents Francis Schaffer Cox, age 27, Coleman L. Barney, age 36, and Lonnie G. Vernon, age 57. Each of these defendants had previously been charged in an earlier indictment with participating in a conspiracy to receive and possess unregistered prohibited weapons, including hand grenades and firearms silencers. In addition, Cox had previously been charged with possessing unregistered illegal weapons, including a machine gun and a silencer, and with unlawfully making a silencer. Both Cox and Barney had also earlier been charged with possessing illegal hand grenades and other destructive devices, and with carrying firearms during a crime of violence.
The superseding indictment returned by the grand jury includes all of the previous charges, and includes the additional charge against all three defendants for conspiracy to kill federal officers and employees. In addition, Cox is charged with soliciting Barney and Vernon to murder federal officers. Finally, Cox , Barney and Vernon are all charged with additional counts involving the carrying of firearms during a crime of violence. In addition to these charges, the indictment includes criminal forfeiture allegations relating to several seized firearms, silencers, and destructive devices.
All of the defendants are presently in custody and are awaiting trial. A trial in the case is presently set for February 6, 2012, in Anchorage.
Assistant United States Attorneys Steven Skrocki, Yvonne Lamoureux, and Joseph Bottini, who presented the case to the grand jury, indicated that the law provides for a sentence of up to life in prison. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed will be based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.