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More members of Phoenix paramilitary group plead guilty

December 31, 1996

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

David and Ellen Belliveau brought to seven the number of members to plead guilty in the case. Three more members of the paramilitary group were to plead guilty later Tuesday, and 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, and his wife at least 3 years.

The defendants will be sentenced in March.

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