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4 former soldiers indicted in militia case

SAVANNAH, Ga. — Four former Army soldiers and a civilian have been charged in new indictments for connections to an antigovernment militia that authorities say was led by Fort Stewart troops who stockpiled weapons and talked of ultimately overthrowing the US government.

A Liberty County grand jury indicted the five on charges of illegal gang activity and various counts involving theft, burglary, and auto break-ins. Those crimes were committed to help fund the militia group, which called itself FEAR, short for Forever Enduring Always Ready, District Attorney Tom Durden said Tuesday.

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‘‘The burglaries and entering autos, they were committed in an effort to fund FEAR and what FEAR was at least advocating they wanted to accomplish,’’ said Durden, the top prosecutor for southeast Georgia’s Atlantic Judicial Circuit. Their plans included bombing a Savannah park fountain and poisoning apple crops in the state of Washington, prosecutors say.

The new indictments Monday bring to 10 the total number of people charged in connection with the militia group.

Four are soldiers serving at neighboring Fort Stewart and are charged with murder in the December slayings of former soldier Michael Roark and his teenage girlfriend, Tiffany York. Prosecutors said Roark had access to the militia leader’s credit cards and made purchases for the group, but they have not said what he bought.

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