Two North Georgia militiamen were sentenced to five years in federal prison on charges of conspiring to obtain an unregistered explosive device and silencer.
Frederick Thomas, 73, of Cleveland, and Dan Roberts, 68, of Toccoa, were sentenced today, Aug. 22, by U.S. District Judge Richard W. Story to the prison terms, to be followed by three years supervised release. They were found guilty of the charges on April 10.
U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said: “These defendants didn’t just talk about killing government officials and law enforcement officers, they purchased equipment, including a silencer and what they thought were explosive devices, to carry out their plans. Now they will spend five years in prison.”
Yates and information presented in court revealed Thomas and Roberts were members of a known militia organization who sought to form what they referred to as a “covert group” that would plan and execute armed attacks on government buildings and federal employees including law enforcement agents. The firearms the defendants sought to obtain were to be used in those attacks.
In March and April 2011, the defendants met with each other and others to discuss the formation of the self-described “covert group,” its purposes, and their need to acquire weapons, ammunition, food and survival gear.
According to Yates, Thomas discussed overt and covert operations for the group, stating that he had compiled what he called a “Bucket List,” which is a list of government employees, politicians, corporate leaders and members of the media that needed to be “taken out” to “make the country right again.”
Thomas talked about his “Bucket List” of people he thought should be killed. Defendant Thomas further said that he thought they could “fight off a SWAT team” and that “I’ve been to war, and I’ve taken life before, and I can do it again.”
From April 2011 to November 2011, the defendants met with an individual they believed could obtain weapons, and undercover agents before finally being arrested on Nov. 1, 2011. They performed surveillance of federal offices in downtown Atlanta, bought noise suppressors ("silencers") for guns, firearms and what they believed were explosives.