Plotters get stiff prison terms

By

State News

January 28, 2019 - 10:25 AM

Gavin Wright, from left, Curtis Allen and Patrick Stein

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Three militia members convicted of taking part in a foiled plot to massacre Muslims in southwest Kansas were sentenced Friday to decades in prison during an emotional court hearing in which one of the targeted victims pleaded: “Please don’t hate us.”

U.S. District Judge Eric Melgren sentenced Patrick Stein, the alleged ringleader, to 30 years in prison and Curtis Allen, who drafted a manifesto for the group, to 25 years. Gavin Wright, who authorities said helped make and test explosives at his mobile home business, received 26 years. The plot was foiled after another militia member alerted authorities.

Melgren dismissed defense attorneys’ request that he take into the account the divisive political atmosphere in which the men formed their plot to blow up a mosque and apartments housing Somali immigrants in the meatpacking town Garden City, about 220 miles  west of Wichita, on the day after the 2016 election.

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