Sean Dix's American Dream goes south 

An inventor goes after Ted Turner and CNN

Page 4 of 4

The next day, the FBI showed up at his apartment. Agents found no weapons, no plane tickets to Atlanta. They took his computer to headquarters and Sean to the "Tombs" -- NYC's short-term detention center in Manhattan. The following week he was shipped to a prison barge on the East River, then flown to Oklahoma for a two-week stay before he was flown to the U.S. Penitentiary in Atlanta. There he waited for a space to open up at the Atlanta City Detention Center. He's been at the ACDC since May.

Meanwhile, his mother has kept the foundering business afloat, working each evening after she gets home from her classroom in one of NYC's public schools.

In federal court in Atlanta three weeks ago, Sean admitted to faxing terroristic threats across state lines. But he didn't plead guilty. He'd sent the faxes for a reason, after all: to get someone to listen to the truth.

After deliberating for a day and a half, jurors returned with a guilty verdict.

Because she was a witness in the trial, his mother wasn't allowed in the courtroom until after she'd testified. But while she was out walking the halls of the Richard B. Russell Federal Building, she couldn't help but notice that CNN loomed large, just across the railroad gulch. She also noticed, she says, when bigwigs with CNN shook hands with the judge presiding over Sean's case.

"I remember thinking, 'This is how it is. Ted Turner runs this town.'"

Turner, of course, is alive and well. Sean is scheduled to be sentenced March 7 to up to three years in a federal prison.

His days start at 5:30 a.m., breakfast consisting of "oatmeal soup," some form of meat, an orange, milk and "scorched" coffee. Then he reads until lunch. Right now, he's working on Violence Unveiled: Humanity at the Crossroads, by Gil Bailie. Before that, he read Drive-by Journalism by Arthur E. Rowse, a former editor with U.S. News and World Report. Sometimes, he loans his books to other inmates -- he's currently awaiting the return of a book on Vedic philosophies and yoga. In the afternoon, he plays chess. Mostly, though, it's boring.

"There is a reason why I'm doing all this. Remember how CNN covered the Columbine High School shootings? They hosted meetings and kept saying people should sit down and talk, but they won't sit down and talk to me. I am saying to them 'You can't ignore violence. You love it. You feed on it. You live for it. So, I'll give it to you with these threats and then maybe we'll talk about it.' "

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