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More members of Phoenix paramilitary group plead guilty

January 1, 1997

PHOENIX (AP) _ Five more members of the Viper Militia, initially accused of plotting to blow up federal buildings, pleaded guilty Tuesday to lesser conspiracy and weapons charges.

A total of 10 members of the paramilitary group have pleaded guilty in the case. Two are set for trial in late January.

Following the July 1 arrests, President Clinton and other federal officials said they had ``averted a terrible terrorist attack,″ but investigators later conceded the group posed no immediate threat.

Under their plea bargains, David Belliveau faces up to 6 years in prison; his wife Ellen Belliveau faces at least 3 years; Finis Howard Walker II faces at least 7 years and Donna Star Williams faces 18 months.

Dean Carl Pleasant also pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges carrying maximum prison terms totaling 20 years but sentencing guidelines are expected to reduce the total.

The defendants will be sentenced in March.

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