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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Undercover Agent Broke Viper Militia

PHOENIX -- The Viper Militia was broken by an undercover wildlife officer who took the "Militiaman's Oath,'' agreed to kill infiltrators and discussed impending race riots in a government apartment.


Viper Militia members were arrested Monday on charges of conspiracy to make bombs, including a fertilizer bomb of the same type believed to have been used in the Oklahoma City bombing.


The Game and Fish Department employee fell in with the group while conducting a wildlife investigation in the Tonto National Forest north of Phoenix, The Arizona Republic reported Thursday.


Now that 12 members of the group have been indicted, the department is concerned for the worker's safety.


"What we're worried about now is protecting this person,'' said an unidentified game official. "The federal people have protection -- we don't.''


The investigation has turned up about 270 kilograms of the fertilizer ammonium nitrate and 70 automatic weapons or machine guns.


The group came to the attention of authorities when a hunter complained that a group of camouflaged, armed men conducting maneuvers in the woods had ordered him to stay off a service road.


Federal officials turned to the game and fish worker, who had run across the group separately at about the same time.


The informant -- who resembles a biker with a light beard and tattoos -- told the Viper Militia he was a private eye.


Within months, the worker was holding militia meetings in the ATF apartment and duping militia members into talking freely about their activities.