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A federal jury on Tuesday found five Montana Freemen guilty of criminal charges in the first trial resulting from the 81-day standoff between the anti-government militants and the FBI in 1996.

However, the jury acquitted Edwin F. Clark, 47, one-time owner of the foreclosed farm that formed most of the Freemen stronghold in rural eastern Montana. Clark's lawyer had argued he was desperate to save the farm and was swept up in events.

Four Freemen were convicted of being accessories after the fact to the armed holdup of an ABC television news crew attempting to film a story on the Freemen.

They were Steven C. Hance, 48, and his sons, James E. Hance, 25, and John R. Hance, 21, all of Charlotte, N.C., and Jon Barry Nelson, 42, of Marion, Kan. All three Hances were also convicted of being fugitives in possession of firearms.

Elwin Ward, 57, of Salt Lake City, was found innocent of being an accessory to any crimes committed by other members of the Freemen. But he was convicted of submitting a false claim to the Internal Revenue Service.

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