Three Rome residents who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction in attacks against federal government agencies will spend the next several years in federal prison.
Brian Cannon, Terry Peace and Cory Williamson were all sentence last week for planning to “attack critical infrastructure while motivating militia groups in other states to rise up and join them in removing government officials who they believed had exceeded their constitutional power,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia said.
Cannon, 37, Williamson, 29, and Peace, 47, were all sentenced to 12 years in prison. That will be followed by five years of supervised released and 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,” said U.S. Attorney John Horn. “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.”
Authorities say that between Jan. 23 and Feb. 15, 2014, Cannon, Williamson and Peace participated in online chat discussions about carrying out an operation against the government that was to be launched in February.
Peace encouraged members of the militia to review guerrilla warfare tactics, small unit tactics, accumulate supplies, and prepare their families, authorities charged. Peace also identified targets such as “…TSA, DHS, non-emergency FEMA, road blocks, etc.”
The discussions were reported to the FBI, and the agency then began to monitor the communications.
To prepare for the mission, Peace on Feb. 8, 2014, allegedly asked a cooperating witness to provide them with 12 pipe bombs and two thermite grenades. Peace, Cannon and Williamson subsequently planned to meet with a cooperating federal witness to take possession of the items after they were made.
On Feb. 15, authorities allege that Peace, Cannon and Williamson drove to a location in Cartersville to meet with the witness. Authorities had given the witness 12 inert pipe bombs and two inert thermite devices, which were made to look authentic.
While their online conversations reflected attacks on federal targets, the defendants planned to use the thermite device at a local police department, the U.S. Attorney’s Office stated.
All three defendants were arrested as they took possession of the explosives. The trio had initial appearances in federal court three days later and were all charged in a criminal complaint.
Comment: The patriot militias still going strong…