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Three Convicted in Militia-Bombs Case

November 6, 1996

MACON, Ga. (AP) _ Three members of the 112th Georgia Militia were convicted of conspiracy Wednesday for stockpiling pipe bombs for use against the federal government.

A federal jury also found militia leader Robert Starr III and members Troy Spain and Jimmy McCranie guilty of possessing an unregistered destructive device. They were found innocent of other charges.

The three were accused of conspiring to use pipe bombs on roads, vehicles, bridges, power lines and federal law enforcement officials.

Spain hatched a plan for financing their ``war″ against the government by robbing armories and drug dealers, prosecutors said.

Kevin Barker, a government informant and prosecution witness, testified last week that the three hoped to use the bombs at the Summer Olympics in Atlanta. Barker testified that while discussing plans for a militia special operations team to rob drug dealers, Spain said he hoped they’d make enough money to quit work and train full time for Olympic terrorism.

The team members would use remote control or gunfire to detonate lunch boxes filled with explosives, Barker testified.

Defense attorneys argued that the three did nothing but talk about making bombs and were lured into the conspiracy by government informants.

``What he did was play Army,″ said Spain’s attorney, Greg Spicer. ``He engaged in loose talk.″

Starr’s lawyers argued that he was running a sting operation to weed out extremists from his group.

Judge Duross Fitzpatrick said he would sentence the men in 60 to 90 days. Each had faced a maximum sentence of almost 22 years in prison.

All three were acquitted of one conspiracy charge. Starr and McCranie also were acquitted of threatening a federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms supervisor in Macon, and Starr was acquitted of possession of an illegal assault rifle.

Starr, 35, an electrician, and McCranie, 30, a plumber, both of rural Crawford County, were arrested in April when federal agents found buried explosives on Starr’s property. Spain, 28, of Warner Robins, turned himself in a month later.

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