EXCLUSIVE: FBI Informant Tells All – Part 3
We last left Bill Fulton working undercover for the FBI. After he was asked to make contact with militia leader Schaeffer Cox, now convicted on weapons charges and conspiracy to commit murder, Fulton recalled a disturbing meeting. He was in Fairbanks, attending a sale and fundraising event hosted by his own Anchorage military supply store and security company Drop Zone, and held at Far North Tactical, a similar store in Fairbanks, owned by his friend Aaron Bennett who had his own militia group in the area. Fulton’s initial conversation with Cox led him to believe that Cox had “gone crazy.” Fulton said Cox had gotten crossways with the law and the court system, and asked him to serve common law warrants to Fairbanks judges through his security company. Fulton said Cox intended to fine, or kill them and their families. Fulton became alarmed, and warned his friend Aaron Bennett, at the time a supporter of Cox.
Although Drop Zone is no longer in business, (it’s former building is now a high-end cheese shop), here is a 10-minute YouTube ad for Far North Tactical.
Fulton’s meeting with Cox, militia leaders, and members of the IACC (Interior Alaska Conservative Coalition) the following day, was one of the more memorable moments at the militia trial. Members of Cox’s Alaska Peacemakers Militia recounted the story on the stand with horror, testifying that Fulton had threatened to slit the throat of Cox’s second in command, Les Zerbe. The incident was used to discredit the FBI, demonstrate the overreach of the federal investigation, and call into question Fulton’s actions as an informant.
The story was recounted to me by Fulton from his undisclosed location outside Alaska. It was a tense meeting, Fulton said, in which he felt that his role as an informant came dangerously close to being compromised, and at which he feared for his life.
So, we get through this sale thing, and I find out about the IACC (Interior Alaska Conservative Coalition). I’d never heard of it before, because I was a “Republican” but I wasn’t. (laughs) So, I didn’t even know they existed until that day. And so we had this meeting. And I walk in and they’ve got a bug detector out, which I think Aaron bought from me at my shop, and they had a wand and all this stuff… but everybody’s got guns!
And I remember thinking as I got up to the door, “Wow. So we’re going to wand people, but everybody’s got sidearms and beer. I’m sure we’re all safe now.”
So all these guys start filing in – a bunch of leaders from local militias up there, the leadership from the IACC, the leadership from the Second Amendment Task Force, Aaron Bennett and his second-in-command guy.
And then Les Zerbe shows up. And all these people are there, waiting for Schaeffer. But Les shows up alone and says, “Well, Schaeffer’s with his lawyer trying to figure some things out.”
And I’m like, “Why would he be with his lawyer after the conversation we just had last night. What’s going on here?”
About an hour and half later Schaeffer shows up, and he starts going in to this Schaeffer “Look at me!” speech to a bunch of people who really don’t need it. I mean, these guys are all deeply right wing. They’ve heard it before, do you know what I mean?
Preaching to the choir?
And we’ve all been waiting an hour and a half already at this point. Get to the point. We’re all here. And then I think I was the one who was like, “That’s great, but get to the point!” after letting him go on for like 15 or 20 minutes. “OK, that’s great… but we’re all here to hear what you’re planning.” And then he’s like, “Well, we don’t really have a plan.”
And I’m like, “What the fuck do you mean you don’t have a plan? We just talked about it last night!” But now, Schaeffer’s doing what he always does, which is get everybody behind him, get them all fired up, and then bring it all down. I mean that’s just his modus operandi.
He was kind of like that at other points throughout the trial.
So, at that point, I see an opportunity. Schaeffer right then and there, I know has only got about 20 guys. And I’m probably one of the few people in that room who knows what’s going on. And also I know he’s planning on all these people for support. So, I just go off on him. I’m like, “Listen here, you mother****, you told me you only had 20 guys. You’re telling everybody in this room you’ve got 3500. You’re an f-ing liar. You told me to bring my guys up, I bring my guys up. I have people moving, I have equipment moving, I have money invested in this thing. Don’t you ever call me. If you need me I’ll be there, but you call Aaron Bennett first, and then Aaron can call me… because you’re a piece of shit!”
So, as I’m doing this, a lot of these guys know who I am. They know I do the fugitive recovery, they know about the store, so they’re real respectful already. So, these guys kind of start backing away from Schaeffer – like physically backing away from him.
I’m like, “OK, this is working out well. And then Les Zerbe opens his mouth. And he starts questioning my loyalties, and I turned around on him and I said, “Are you questioning my integrity?”
And he said, “Yes. “
As soon as he said that, I kind of felt the mood in the room change.
At this point, I’m scared. I’m in a room full of 20 some odd people with guns, that if they knew why I was there would kill me that very instant. And I’m scared. And I was like, “OK… I have to deal with Les now, or if I don’t, I may not walk out of this room.
So, I turned it around on him.
I never actually had a knife in my hand. I did have a knife on me, in my pocket, but it stayed there the whole time. In the recording it looks like I said that I had the knife in my hand, but it’s the way the attorney asked the question. Because then he asked if I was right handed and what pocket it was in. I put Aaron Bennett between me and Zerbe. I knew Aaron wouldn’t let me kill him in the store, at least I hoped he wouldn’t.
And I was like, “If you ever question my integrity again,” and I was walking towards him as I said it. “I will slit your fucking throat and bleed you out at my feet.” And as this is coming out of my mouth, I’m moving towards him, and Aaron gets between us, and Les slinks back into another room. The conversation is pretty much over, and Les is gone. Like 30 seconds later, he’s gone. I don’t hear about Les again for like a year and a half.
And by the way, Les Zerbe has still not thanked me for him not being in prison. So, should he ever want to, just tell him to call you. And they built this whole thing out of that which… I understand why they did, because they didn’t have much of a defense to begin with. But they kind of built this whole story that Schaeffer was afraid of me and everything else out of that, which is complete crap. At the time, was it the right thing to do? I don’t know but I’m not going to question what I did three years ago in a room full of 20 people that would have killed me if they knew why I was there.
We got the conviction, and Schaeffer is in jail. Obviously I did something right. Is it perfect? No, but nothing like this ever is.
So that was the big incident with the knife, that wasn’t really an incident – or with a knife. Did I threaten to slit Les Zerbe’s throat? Yes, yes I did. Does he owe me a thank you because he’s not in prison? Probably. I don’t think Les sees it that way. Nobody would believe the story if it hadn’t happened in Alaska. Les is kind of one of those characters.
He was there at the sentencing.
Oh, yeah. I’m sure he was.
So what affect did all of this have on everyone, after the fact?
After the meeting broke up, pretty much all the groups that were there were like, “Screw Schaeffer Cox.”
And again, the FBI didn’t direct me to do that, but I saw an opportunity to do it, and I thought – OK we can shut this guy down now. You know what I mean? There was that opportunity there, so I took it. So, in my debrief, I even told my handler (and this is why Schaeffer’s whole defense that I was threatening him, and I was going to kill him, and I wanted revolution is crap) I told my handler that night after that meeting, “I don’t think we’re going to have another problem with Schaeffer Cox. I think he’s done. His supporters are gone. Everybody who supported him thinks he’s a piece of crap now.”
I literally said to my handler, “I cut the guys balls off I don’t see us having an issue with him,” at least not on that scale again. And I thought I was done. I went back to Anchorage thinking, “You know what? Schaeffer Cox problem – solved. BecauseI knew Schaeffer got his power off of other people kind of adoring him, and I thought I’d removed that. And I went back very happy, thinking I’d never have to deal with Mr. Schaeffer Cox again.
Little did I know that Mr. Cox had other plans.