Militia leader sentenced to 40 years

Associated Press/May 26, 1999
By Lisa Singhania

KALAMAZOO, Mich. -- A militia member convicted of plotting to blow up government buildings and threatening to murder federal officers was sentenced Tuesday to 40 years in prison without the possibility of parole.

Bradford Metcalf, 48, was convicted in November of weapons and conspiracy charges.

During a 90-minute rambling speech before being sentenced, Metcalf accused the judge, the jury and prosecutors of conspiring against him. He represented himself at the trial and sentencing.

He was one of three North American Militia members arrested last year as part of what the government said was a plot to blow up TV and radio stations, electric transformers and federal buildings, including the Internal Revenue Service office.

During Metcalf's trial, prosecutor Lloyd Meyer used weapons seized at his home to portray Metcalf as a danger.

Jurors saw two dozen semiautomatic firearms, including a sniper rifle, as well as machine guns, grenades and thousands of rounds of ammunition the government claimed was proof that Metcalf was helping train militia members for a violent uprising.

Metcalf contended all the weapons seized from his home, including those the government said were machine guns, were all legal to own.

Kenneth Carter, 48, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and was sentenced to five years in prison last week. Randy Graham, 42, was convicted earlier this year of conspiracy and drug charges. He will be sentenced next month.

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