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DropZone surplus store fades into militia folklore

Craig Medred

First Bill Foxfire Fulton disappeared from Anchorage, and now his store -- DropZone surplus -- is following him into obscurity.

Fulton is believed to have slipped into the federal witness protection program almost a month ago. An attorney working for Fulton showed up at DropZone on March 15 to give the business to a Fulton employee, a friend who prefers that only his surname, Giles, be used. He said he has fears for his safety.

Giles is in the process of changing the name of the business, and this week put up a big sign announcing there had already been a change in ownership.

Fulton is believed to be the undercover informant key to charges the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the state have lodged against Alaska militia members who were allegedly plotting to kill a federal judge and Alaska State Troopers.

Multiple sources, including at least one who claims to have been interviewed for hours by the FBI as a possible accomplice to various crimes, told Alaska Dispatch they have no doubt Fulton is hiding behind a cloak of government security.

Before disappearing, Fulton not only gave away DropZone, but signed a power of attorney giving Anchorage lawyer Wayne Anthony Ross the authority over two homes Fulton owns, or did own, in Anchorage.

Fulton became a recognizable public figure in Alaska after he manhandled and then handcuffed Alaska Dispatch editor Tony Hopfinger following a rally for U.S. Senate candidate Joe Miller. Fulton was, at the time, acting as security chief for Miller. Hopfinger was trying to ask questions of Miller. Fulton's actions attracted national press attention and created a lot of bad press for Miller, who subsequently lost the Senate election to write-in incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski. Both Murkowski and Miller are Republicans.

He had squeaked out a victory over her in the state's GOP primary, and her political career in the state was thought to be dead. But after Miller stumbled into all kinds of problems -- including the Fulton fiasco -- she came on to regain her Senate seat via a historic write-in. Miller has so far refused to answer Dispatch questions about his relationship with Fulton. It is unknown whether Miller had any knowledge his security chief was an undercover operative.

Miller was not the only politician for whom Fulton was working, either. The former Drop Zone owner was the campaign treasurer for unsuccessful Republican lieutenant governor candidate Eddie Burke, a onetime Alaska radio talk show host and a political gadfly. Burke told the Anchorage Press that Fulton cautioned against fraternizing with Schaeffer Cox, one of several Fairbanks residents now charged with plotting to kill public officials. Burke told the Press that he had the feeling the government-hating Cox was too far out, and "he must have been too far out there for Bill, too.''

Others have questioned that. They say Fulton appeared to encourage Cox, and tried to get other Alaskans involved in selling illegal weapons or explosives to Cox and his Fairbanks accomplices. Fulton and Cox appeared to be on friendly terms when Cox was asked to speak at an Alaska Militia Summit in Anchorage on Feb. 4.

Fulton was one of the organizers of the event, and Cox was invited to talk about organizing and recruiting militia. Fulton himself conducted a presentation on "how to deal with the media."

(This story was edited from an earlier version to reflect that Cox did not make the summit in Anchorage.)

Contact Craig Medred at craig(at)alaskadispatch.com