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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

District of Alaska

For Immediate Release

Friday, March 11, 2011

Karen L. Loeffler, United States Attorney

Man Arrested on Federal Charges of Threatening to Kill a Judge and His Family

Anchorage, Alaska – United States Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced today that Lonnie G. Vernon of Salcha, Alaska, was arrested on charges that he threatened to kill a Federal District Judge in Alaska and his family, in retaliation for and on account of the performance of the judge’s official duties.

The two–count indictment, charging violations of Title18, United States Code, Sections 115(a)(1)(B) and (a)(1)(B), alleges that between February 4, 2011, and February 16, 2011, Vernon threatened to murder the judge and his family in an attempt to impede, intimidate and interfere with the judge in retaliation for and on account of the judge issuing rulings in a civil tax case involving Vernon that is pending before the judge.

Vernon, age 56, was arrested on Thursday in Fairbanks, Alaska. If convicted, he faces a maximum prison sentence of 10 years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine.

The investigation leading to the arrest in this case was conduct by the U.S. Marshals Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Fairbanks Police Department and the Alaska State Troopers.

An Indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitle to a fair trial at which time the United States must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.