Pa. Man Pleads Guilty to Weapons Charges

Associated Press/August 18, 2004

Erie, Pa. -- An alleged militia leader who authorities claimed built a bunker on his land and stockpiled weapons for an apocalyptic showdown with federal agents pleaded guilty Tuesday to weapons offenses.

George Bilunka, 59, admitted possessing unregistered firearms - two homemade land mines, a modified rifle and a homemade Sten machine gun. He also acknowledged that he and another alleged militia leader sold a copy of a Sten gun - a British-made World War II 9 mm machine gun - to an undercover federal agent for $300.

His attorney, David Ridge, said Bilunka agreed to plead guilty because he likely faced conviction if he went to trial.

"Officially at the end of the day the case is simple: either you do possess illegal weapons or you don't. He was in possession of weapons which were, in fact, illegal," Ridge said.

Prosecutors said Bilunka, of Atlantic, heads a militia called the Christian American Patriots Survivalists. Bilunka believed that in 2009 Jesus Christ would return and usher in the end of the world, they said.

To guarantee his survival until then, Bilunka built a bunker on his land, about 70 miles north of Pittsburgh, and stockpiled six months of food and supplies, along with about 60 legal guns, prosecutors said.

Sentencing was set for Nov. 30. Bilunka could get up to 10 years in prison and be fined as much as $250,000, although Ridge said he would likely get two to three years under federal sentencing guidelines.

His co-defendant, gunsmith Darrell Sivik, faces charges of owning unregistered firearms, including a belt-fed machine gun and six Sten guns, and making and selling the Sten gun allegedly sold to the undercover agent.

Prosecutors claim Sivik, 56, is the leader of the Braveheart Militia and told federal agents it was "time for the ammo box rather than the ballot box." He is recovering at home after quadruple bypass surgery.

To see more documents/articles regarding this group/organization/subject click here.