April 5, 2017 Posted by Daryl Johnson in Militia Movement

MISSOULA, [MT]--David Earl Burgert, Jr. is a familiar foe to law enforcement. He led Project 7 -- an anti-government militia in Flathead County. In 2001, he was accused of plotting to assassinate local authorities and stockpiling weapons and ammunition, including a machine gun. He eluded police by staging his own death and fled into the forest near Kalispell, Montana. He was arrested in 2002 following a shootout with the FBI and police. He was convicted and sentenced to seven years in prison. Burgert was paroled in 2010, and it wasn't long before law enforcement was on his trail again. He led officers on a chase outside Lolo, Montana, then seemingly disappeared into the forest. Some still keeping an eye on the woods, where the wanted militia man disappeared nearly six years ago. Will Newsom is a retired Missoula County Sheriff's deputy. He says he has an unfinished conversation with Burgert. "The last conversation we had, we were shooting at each other," he said. The initial call was not out of the ordinary: Newsom was called to check on a person who was camping in the area illegally. But the situation escalated quickly. Newsom could tell Burgert was taking him away from backup, and away from help. "This was going to be a gunfight," Newsom said. During the shooting, Burgert was hunkered down on the side of a Jeep and bullets from deputies were flying in the opposite direction. Following the shooting, when deputies walked around the Jeep, nothing was there.  "That made the hair on the back of my neck stand up," Newsom said. "Because I had just been shot at, and I just realized that I have no idea where this guy is." After an all-out manhunt by local, state and federal authorities, detectives turned up virtually nothing. Burgert's Jeep Cherokee, with tires popped, was still impounded. View More>>

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