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Three brothers sentenced to life in military murder plot

Associated Press / April 29, 2009
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CAMDEN, N.J. - Three immigrant brothers involved in a plot to kill military personnel, possibly on Fort Dix, were sentenced yesterday to spend the rest of their lives in prison.

The government had said the men were familiar with the Army post because their father's pizza shop delivered there, and it presented the case as one of the most startling examples of homegrown terrorism.

Dritan, Eljvir, and Shain Duka professed their innocence in courtroom speeches before US District Judge Robert Kugler handed down their sentences. Two other men were to be sentenced today.

All five were convicted by a jury in December of conspiracy to kill military personnel but were acquitted on attempted-murder charges. Four were also convicted on weapons offenses.

Two of the Duka brothers, Dritan and Shain, were given sentences of life plus 30 years because of one of the weapons counts against them.

The men also were ordered to pay a total of $125,000 in restitution to the Army, which beefed up security at Fort Dix after hearing about the investigation into the plot.

In meting out the sentences, the judge agreed with prosecutors that the case was shocking.

"But for the intervention of the FBI, at some point in the future," he said, "they would have killed people."