The man who narrates a video showing him and two other Viper Militia members discussing how to blow up federal buildings was sentenced Wednesday to 71 months in prison on conspiracy and weapons charges.
Dean Pleasant also was fined $1,800 by U.S. District Judge Earl Carroll after he expressed remorse and apologized “for the stress and heartache it has caused for my family.”
Pleasant denied that he and other Viper members intended to blow up buildings. In a statement to reporters, he said the tape was an “anti-terrorism study, designed to be an educational tool in tactical analysis.”
Prosecutors told the judge the May 1994 videotape was among the strongest pieces of evidence to show Pleasant and 11 other Viper members had conspired to commit violence.
Besides Pleasant, nine other members of the Phoenix-based paramilitary group have pleaded guilty to various explosives and conspiracy charges. All nine have been sentenced to prison terms ranging from one to nine years.
Pleasant’s sentence is the second-longest, after Gary Bauer, a Vietnam veteran and alleged Viper leader who got nine years in prison. About 400 pounds of ammonium nitrate - a key ingredient in bombs like the one used in Oklahoma City - were found in Bauer’s basement.
The judge blocked the public from seeing the tape on Wednesday, out of fear that it would undermine the fair trial rights of Christopher Floyd and Charles Knight, who have pleaded innocent to conspiracy.
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