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Militia Broadcaster in Pennsylvania Arrested on Gun Charges

Darrell W. Sivik, a 55-year-old militia member from Crawford County, Pennsylvania, was arrested on gun charges on March 25, 2004, following an undercover investigation by the ATF, Joint Terrorism Task Force, and Pennsylvania State Police.

Sivik, a gun dealer and microbroadcaster who has been active in the Pennsylvania Citizens' Militia and Bucktail Militia for several years, is charged with illegal possession and transfer of a machine gun. Sivik is perhaps best known in the militia movement for airing an anti-government radio program he calls "Braveheart Radio." In 1998, he said, "By virtue of being a citizen, you have an obligation to be a militia member."

During the investigation leading to Sivik's arrest, George Bilunka, who was also arrested and named as a co-conspirator, told an undercover officer that he purchased a machine gun from Sivik so that he would not have to register it with the government. A month later, the officer went to Sivik's gun shop and bought a functioning machine gun. During a subsequent raid of Sivik's home and gun shop, authorities seized a stockpile of machine guns. Assistant U.S. Attorney Marshall Piccinini told Federal Magistrate Susan Paradise Baxter that Sivik "poses a potential danger to the community and law enforcement in particular." According to Piccinini, Sivik planned to lead members of his militia to a supply of arms at a hunting camp in Forest County to resist authorities if they moved against the group. Baxter agreed with the prosecutor and ordered Sivik held without bail.

During Sivik's hearing in U.S. District Court in Erie, four of his supporters showed up with signs denouncing gun-control laws. One of the protesters said that if Sivik "hadn't spoken his mind, he wouldn't be here today." Sivik's arrest has also created chatter among sympathetic militia on the Internet; one on-line militia forum included this reaction to the arrest: "So why are we still sitting here?? Why are we not doing something to physically hurt the federal M…..F…er's…Why do I not hear gunfire???"

Clint Dare, commander of the Michigan Militia Corps of Wolverines, said that if the Crawford County Sheriff does not protect Sivik, he will "recommend the people of Pennsylvania start protecting themselves against a (federal) government run amok…We'll put out the intelligence and information, and where people take it and what they do is their business."

Sivik's low power pirate radio station, "88.3 Braveheart, the Pennsylvania American Patriot Radio Network," was broadcast from a studio on his property. Among the shows Sivik rebroadcast was Mark Koernke's Intelligence Report from Truth Radio. Koernke, a Michigan Militia leader, is currently in jail but has been one of the most effective propagandists for the "patriot" movement.

Sivik has been an outspoken critic of the U.S. government for many years and leads an annual protest and flag burning ceremony in Meadville against U.S. involvement in the United Nations.

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UPDATE

February 4, 2005

Darrell W. Sivik, a 57-year-old militia member from Crawford County, Pennsylvania, has pleaded guilty in federal court to two counts of possessing unregistered firearms. 

On January 31, 2004, a day before his trial was to begin, Sivik admitted stockpiling 10 illegal or unregistered machine guns at his home and at a hunting camp near the Allegheny National Forest.

Sivik, who faces up to 10 years in prison, admitted selling a gun to Charles Bilunka, head of the Christian American Patriot Survivalists. The latter is a militia group that agents said has trained to kill law enforcement officers in preparation for "Armageddon," which Bilunka predicted will occur in 2012. 

As part of his plea, Sivik also acknowledged selling a homemade machine gun to a federal agent.

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