Associated Press Writer
SAVANNAH — Four former Army soldiers and a civilian have been charged in new indictments for connections to an anti-government militia that authorities say was led by Fort Stewart troops who stockpiled weapons and talked of ultimately overthrowing the U.S. 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 F.E.A.R., short for Forever Enduring Always Ready, District Attorney Tom Durden said Tuesday.
“The burglaries and entering autos, they were committed in an effort to fund F.E.A.R. and what F.E.A.R. 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 say Roark was buying guns for the militia group and was killed, along with York, after he left the Army in order to protect the group and its plots. A wife of one of the soldiers has also been charged in the slayings.
Fort Stewart officials confirmed four of the men charged in the latest indictments — Christopher Jenderseck, Adam Dearman, Timothy Joiner and Anthony Garner — are former soldiers. Three of them were administratively separated from the Army between November and May, while Jenderseck’s enlistment ended in April. No other details about their service histories were released.
The fifth man charged was Dearman’s brother, Randall Blake Dearman. Their father, Randy Dearman, declined to comment when reached by phone Tuesday.
Durden said civilian authorities aren’t sure how many members the militia group had. Army officials said they weren’t surprised by the new indictments involving ex-soldiers, but they aren’t saying how large the group was either.
“We remain confident there are no unknown subjects,” Fort Stewart spokesman Kevin Larson said in a statement. “The five individuals indicted today ... were known to the investigation and were not publicly identified previously to preserve the integrity of the investigation and ongoing civilian legal proceedings.”