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ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST : Paramilitary Leaders Face Prison and Fines

March 30, 1995

A federal jury in Fresno has convicted a Los Angeles man of falsely impersonating a government employee in paramilitary training operations in three national forests, including the Angeles.

Otis Cooper Jr., 23, faces a maximum of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Last week's conviction in U.S. District Court ended the largest criminal investigation ever undertaken by the U.S. Forest Service in California.

Cooper was part of a 10-member group that stored and used assault weapons and ammunition in the forests for survivalist and paramilitary training. The group operated in the Sequoia, Los Padres and Angeles national forests until its leaders were arrested on April 16, 1994.

Two other group leaders, Peter Thomas Clarke and Jack Tsung Shieng Wu, pleaded guilty last week to various charges in connection with the group, which claimed to be the fictitious "U.S. Enforcement Agency."

Clarke, 36, of Los Angeles faces up to 25 years in prison and a $1-million fine. Wu, 24, also of Los Angeles, faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

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