I reference my previous posting in thread !!New Militia Bust-- Ron
Cole!! of 080610.
Today's Toledo Blade reports on the 27 month sentencing of militiaman
Ron Cole for credit card fraud. Not surprisingly, Cole tried to use his
fear of the government and religious persecution as a rational for his
Erica Blake, `Ex-Militiaman Is Sentenced for Document Fraud: Cole
Regretful, Says He Has Changed,` Toledo Blade [OH], 080916.
Ronald Cole acknowledges his criminal past — one full of federal crimes,
membership with the militia, and an overwhelming distrust of the government.
Yesterday, the 39-year-old former member of the Branch Davidians
appeared in U.S. District Court in Toledo where he pledged a new
philosophy and changed behavior.
After pleading guilty to 12 counts of falsifying identification
documents and two counts of wire fraud, Cole was sentenced to 27 months
in prison on each count, to run concurrently. Before sentencing, Cole
said that the identification crimes were a part of his former
“quasi-subversive lifestyle” and that he now no longer has the same fears.
“I’ve been living in a state of fear,” Cole told Judge Jack Zouhary,
referring specifically to fears of “government takeover” and suppression
of religious freedoms. “I’ve always been fearful that the door may be
kicked in for some reason, as irrational as that may sound.”
Cole was arrested Nov. 20 on the campus of the University of North
Carolina in Wilmington, where his wife attended school. He was
extradited to Ohio where he faced the wire fraud and false
According to the indictment filed Nov. 7, Cole created three false
Colorado driver’s licenses, five false U.S. Social Security cards, three
false birth certificates from New York, and one state of Ohio temporary
Additionally, Cole was convicted of submitting false car loan
applications to local dealerships. According to Assistant U.S. Attorney
Seth Uram, the applications inflated his annual income to more than
$100,000, when he was in reality making about half of that.
With the loans given to him by Capital One Auto Finance based on the
false information, Cole purchased two “high-end” cars in December, 2005,
from Vin Devers automobile dealership in Sylvania and from Yark
Automotive Group in Toledo.
Yesterday’s appearance was not Cole’s first in federal custody.
In 1997, he was arrested by federal agents on charges that he possessed
The following year he pleaded guilty to four federal counts of illegally
possessing machine guns for which he spent more than two years in prison.
It was during that time that Cole was a self-proclaimed member of the
militia and supporter of people such as David Koresh, the onetime leader
of the Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas, and Timothy McVeigh, the
convicted bomber of the Oklahoma City federal building.
He was also reported to be the founder of militia groups known as the
Colorado Light Infantry and North American Liberation Army.
Yesterday, Cole said he is now a husband and father of a young son and
hoped that he would serve his sentence in the Federal Correctional
Institution in Elkton, Ohio, near Youngstown so that he could be near
his family who have since relocated to Ohio.
Judge Zouhary said he hoped that Cole lives up to his promises of
reform, adding that any return to the judge’s courtroom would mean a
potentially harsher outcome.
“I wish you the best,” Judge Zouhary said. “I sincerely hope you succeed
and that the final chapter in your life’s story will be different from
the first pages of your life’s story.”