A founder of the Montana Freeman militia group is the first person nationwide to be sentenced under a law that makes it a felony to retaliate against a government official by filing false liens.
Daniel Petersen, 67, was sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court in St. Paul to 7½ years in prison. A jury convicted him in October on six counts of filing a false lien or encumbrance against a federal judge. It was the first prosecution of its kind.
Petersen is a founder of the Montana Freeman, which rejects federal authority.
While in a federal prison in Minnesota on other charges, prosecutors say Petersen devised a plan to retaliate against three federal judges. From prison, he used his own "court" to get a judgment and then began filing false liens against the judges' property.
He is in custody.
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