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Reply #93: elsewhere saw Montana Freeman standoff was going on [View All]

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Snazzy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-31-09 07:51 PM
Response to Reply #73
93. elsewhere saw Montana Freeman standoff was going on
when he got arrested (they didn't have link in that story or would post it)

Refresher on that:

Five Montana Freemen were found guilty today on criminal charges in the first trial resulting from an 81-day standoff in 1996 between the anti-Government militants and the F.B.I.

The jury acquitted Edwin F. Clark, 47, former owner of the foreclosed farm that made up most of the Freemen stronghold. Mr. Clark's lawyer had argued he had been desperate to save the farm and swept up in events.

Four of the Freemen were convicted of being accessories in the armed holdup of an ABC television news crew attempting to film a story on the Freemen. They were Steven C. Hance, 48, and his sons, James E. Hance, 25, and John R. Hance, 21, all of Charlotte, N.C., and Jon Barry Nelson, 42, of Marion, Kan. The Hances were also convicted of being fugitives in possession of firearms.

Elwin Ward, 57, of Salt Lake City, was found innocent of being an accessory to any crimes committed by other Freemen, but was convicted of submitting a false claim to the Internal Revenue Service.

The six were secondary figures in the standoff. The trial of the Freemen leaders is to begin on May 26.

Freemen, FBI standoff drags on
Lessons of Waco put into practice

March 28, 1996
Web posted at: 12:30 a.m. EST

BILLINGS, Montana (CNN) -- Negotiations between the FBI and 10 anti-government militants dragged through a third day Wednesday with no sign of a breakthrough. The fugitives, members of the "freemen" group, are armed and are holding federal authorities at bay outside a remote farm house in Montana.

The group refuses to pay taxes or be evicted from the property, which was foreclosed upon 18 months ago. They have even posted bounties for the capture of police and judges, and threatened to shoot their neighbors' sheep and cattle.

Two members of the group were arrested Wednesday without incident, even though both were carrying loaded guns. Both were indicted a year ago on federal charges for writing bad checks and threatening a judge's life.

According to court papers filed Wednesday, an FBI sting operation led to the arrests of the two, freemen leader LeRoy Schweitzer and member Daniel Petersen. Schweitzer allegedly gave FBI agent Timothy Healy a bogus "comptroller's warrant" for $3 million, in return for the profits from selling imports bought with the $3 million. He stood to gain $1 million in cash from the operation, the FBI said.

Lavon T. Hanson was also arrested in connection with the FBI sting. He allegedly agreed to transport illegally-earned funds from Los Angeles to Montana in a conversation between Schweitzer, Healy, and Hanson on March 25. Based on that conversation, the complaint said, the FBI believed that "Hanson understood the entire scheme, including his role as pilot transporting funds."


"They talk about Christian patriotism. Viewers should know it's an inherently racist view -- beliefs there are different rights for white Christian folks and for blacks, Jews, and for others," said Kenneth Stern, author of "A Force Upon the Plains." "Terry Nichols, who is charged with the Oklahoma City bombing, did the same thing that the freemen folks are talking about."

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