Three men affiliated with an Arizona militia group are charged in federal court with replicating a tactic long used by smugglers: Stealing drugs from people who have already sneaked them past the Mexican border.

The three are accused of ripping off cocaine at a west Phoenix warehouse nearly a month ago during sting operations.

Authorities say the trio's leader, Parris Frazier, portrayed himself as a mercenary who had stolen drugs and money from smugglers and expressed a willingness to kill people during such rip-offs.

The three men have pleaded not guilty to a charge that they conspired to possess with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine.