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The leader of the Covenant, the Sword and the...

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. -- The leader of the Covenant, the Sword and the Arm of the Lord, a militant white supremacist group based in north Arkansas, was sentenced to 20 years in prison on federal racketeering and weapons charges.

Six other members of the group also were sentenced Wednesday by U.S. District Court Judge Oren Harris for their roles in illegal activities conducted by the CSA.

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James D. Ellison, the leader, was arrested April 22 after hundreds of state police and federal agents with automatic weapons surrounded the CSA's remote mountain camp on the shores of Bull Shoals Lake seeking his surrender on weapons charges. The siege of the camp lasted almost four days.

After Ellison's arrest, authorities discovered extensive caches of weapons, ammunition and communications equipment and an armored car under construction in the camp.

Ellison was convicted July 17 on racketeering charges in connection with the bombing of a natural gas pipeline near Fulton, Mo., an attempt to defraud an insurance company, and the burnings of a homosexual church in Missouri and a synagogue in Indiana. On Aug. 12, he pleaded guilty to a conspiracy count and to gun law violations in a plea bargain agreement.

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Kerry Wayne Noble, the second in command and spokesman for the CSA, was sentenced to five years for conspiracy, and Kent Yates, in charge of internal security at the CSA camp, was sentenced to four years on weapons charges.

CSA members Gary Stone, Timothy Russell, David Giles and Rudy Loewen were sentenced to lesser terms or probation on the conspiracy charges.

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