Militia Group Allegedly Formed By Washington State Soldier

Apr 5, 2013

A solider from Washington state has been charged with murder in the death of his pregnant wife.  Prosecutors also say Pvt. Isaac Aguigui of Cashmere, Wash., is the ringleader of an anti-government militia group that plotted to overthrow the government and poison apple crops in Washington state.

Aguigui is stationed at Fort Stewart in Georgia. Civilian prosecutors in Long County say Aguigui committed the murder to get insurance money to fund the work of an anti-government militia group he founded. Prosecutors in Long County have painted Aguigui as the leader of a militia group named FEAR - Forever Enduring Always Ready. They say he used insurance payments from his wife’s death, to buy $87,000 worth of semi-automatic assault rifles as well as bomb making materials, which were recovered by investigators.  

District Attorney Tom Durden confirmed that Aguigui bought property in Washington state. It’s alleged that the group planned to poison apple crops. The group wanted to bomb a fountain in Savannah, Ga. Aguigui's attorney, Daveniya Fisher, did not reply to an email seeking comment Wednesday.

Aguigui is also charged in the deaths of two other people. He’s one of four Fort Stewart soldiers charged by civilian authorities in the shooting deaths of former soldier Michael Roark and his girlfriend, 17-year-old Tiffany York, two years ago. In that case civilian prosecutors say the group killed them to keep from exposing FEAR's plans.

Mark Pitcavage, the national director of Investigative Research at the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism, says FEAR stands out among known US anti-government militias. He says the group doesn’t appear to be affiliated with any other known anti-government group. It’s also made up of active duty or former soldiers.

“We just don’t really see groups like this forming in the military. I’m hard pressed to think of a similar example in recent history,” Pitcavage says. “The combination of those two elements  and what turned out to be their apparent willingness to engage in lethal violence makes them a pretty unusual group."

Aguigui has been jailed in Georgia since December 2011.  A hearing will determine if he will face a court-martial for the deaths of his wife, Army Sgt. Deirdre Aguigui and the baby she was carrying.