Viper Case

On July 1, 1996, 12 members of a group styled the "Vipers" were arrested in Phoenix, charged with several federal crimes. They were labeled a "militia" by federal PR flacks, so we are reporting on the case here. At this time all the facts in the case are not clear, but it is being investigated by responsible militia activists. Here are some of their reports, comments and other relevant information.

  1. 96/07/02 -- Indictment of the accused.
  2. 96/07/03 -- Statutes cited in the indictment.
  3. 96/07/03 -- Article, San Jose Mercury News -- Viper founder was once suspected of being FBI plant, by Carol Morello and Gwen Florio
  4. 96/07/03 -- Article, Sacramento Bee -- Militia not shy about its arms, by Sam Stanton.
  5. 96/07/04 -- Letter to editor of Sacramento Bee by Jon Roland
  6. 96/07/03 -- Report from the Militia of Montana, forwarded by Rule of Law Committee.
  7. 96/07/03 -- Report from Arizona militia activist Ernest Hancock on meeting with state senator.
  8. 96/07/07 -- Report from Harry P. Bibee III of the Tennessee Volunteer Militia.
  9. 96/07/07 -- Article, Reuters -- Video Shows Ariz. Militia Detonating Bombs
  10. 96/07/10 -- Koppel Slams Feds on Viper -- Transcript of ABC Nightline.
  11. 96/07/14 -- Viper Case Snakebit? -- L.A. Times report; comments by J. Orlin Grabbe
  12. 96/07/14 -- Rep. Kolbe Criticizes Government on Viper Case -- William F. Rawson, A.P.
  13. 96/07/16 -- Vipers according to Newsweek (1/3)
  14. 96/07/16 -- Vipers according to Newsweek (2/3)
  15. 96/07/16 -- Vipers according to Newsweek (3/3)
  16. 96/07/16 -- Viper Defense Fund
  17. 96/07/17 -- Column, Las Vegas Review-Journal, by Vin Suprynowicz

Also see the following documents regarding the constitutional issues in this case.

  1. Constitutional Issues in the Viper Case, by Jon Roland
  2. Concurring opinion of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas in the case of U.S. v. Lopez, which struck down federal gun control statute. Attacks "substantial effect" interpretation of Interstate Commerce Clause, on which the statutes used in Viper case are based.
  3. Federal Jurisdiction -- Legal brief by attorney Larry Becraft. Cites which show federal government has no jurisdiction in Viper case.
  4. Jefferson: Federal Criminal Powers Limited -- Definitive word from a Founder on federal criminal jurisdiction.

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