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Anti-Government Extremists Sentenced in Federal Court in Maine

A federal judge in Portland, Maine, sentenced two anti-government extremists for their actions in assisting convicted New Hampshire tax protesters Ed and Elaine Brown during an armed standoff with federal agents in 2007.

On August 1, 2008, the federal judge sentenced Jason Gerhard of Brookhaven, New York, to 20 years in federal prison and Robert Wolffe of Randolf, Vermont, to 30 months.   

In April 2008, a federal jury convicted Gerhard of two counts of conspiracy to prevent U.S. Marshals from arresting the Browns, of being an accessory after the fact, and of using weapons to prolong the nine-month long standoff. Wolffe, the Vermont state leader of the Constitution Rangers, a sovereign citizen group led by Ed Brown, pleaded guilty in January 2008.

During the standoff, Gerhard and Wolffe were among numerous supporters who supplied the Browns with food, firearms, ammunition, and equipment to build their own improvised explosive devices. 

During the hearing, prosecutors pointed out Gerhard's purchase of bomb components, night vision scopes and a .50-caliber rifle, as well as the discovery of a pipe bomb in his bedroom.  The judge sentenced Gerhard to nearly 10 years longer than the federal sentencing guidelines recommended because of Gerhard's statements at sentencing in which he said there was nothing wrong with what he had done.  The judge declared that the defendant displayed "intent to continue his conduct and endanger the community."

Wolffe received a lighter sentence due to his cooperation with the prosecution.  Wolffe testified at Gerhard's trial, as well as at the trials of two other Brown supporters.  He provided authorities with information on the weapons and improvised explosive devices placed on the Brown property.

Two other men were tried and convicted with Gerhard in April. Daniel Riley of Cohoes, New York, and Cirino Gonzalez of Alice, Texas, will likely be sentenced in the next few months.

The Browns are now serving 63-month federal prison sentences for their tax convictions.

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