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White supremacist gets probation in North Dakota

BISMARCK, N.D. — A North Dakota judge sentenced a white supremacist Tuesday to four years of probation but no additional jail time for terrorizing residents of the small community of Leith, where he tried unsuccessfully to establish an all-white enclave and has left behind a legacy of fear.

Craig Cobb, 62, had been jailed since mid-November when he was arrested on seven felony terrorizing counts for scaring residents while patrolling Leith with a gun. The Mercer County Jail confirmed that Cobb was freed later Tuesday — a reality that scares officials in Leith.

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‘‘Now we’ve got this lunatic out on the street again,’’ City Councilman Lee Cook said after the sentencing.

Cobb — who says he is not a violent man — moved to Leith more than two years ago, bought a house and 12 other lots, and encouraged other white supremacists to join him to create a voting majority in the community of about two dozen residents. In August, he publicized his plans to fill the town with other white supremacists and take over the town government.

Mayor Ryan Schock, who had wanted a four-year prison term for Cobb, said outside the court that it would take a long time for the town to recover.

Cobb said he now plans to seek permission to move to Missouri to care for his mother.

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