The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

Alleged Sovereign Citizen Arrested on Weapons and Drug Charges

By Casey Sanchez on June 2, 2009 - 2:38 pm, Posted in Militias, Sovereign Citizens

Federal authorities in the Seattle area filed weapons and drug charges against a man alleged to be involved in the militia and sovereign citizens movement as well as a local secessionist group. Andrew Steven Gray, 32, was arrested early last month after FBI agents searched his storage unit and found a machine gun, twenty rifles, four silencers, two bulletproof vests and 9,000 rounds of ammunition.

Gray’s arrest is another example of revived strength in the sovereign citizens movement, a trend recently reported on in the Intelligence Report.

In court documents unsealed last week, federal agents said the case began after a paid informant revealed that Gray had been shooting a rifle and pistol in Snohomish County, Wash., at a building called the Militia Training Center which “routinely holds training for individuals involved in the militia movement.”  The informant secretly recorded Gray admitting to owning guns, even though he is forbidden to possess firearms as an ex-felon.

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer noted, “among the weapons seized were two guns manufactured by a Snohomish gunsmith whose offerings include parts named ‘Christian warrior’ and ‘NObama.’”  In an affidavit, FBI agent Gregory Kraus stated that one of the indicators of Gray’s sovereign citizen ideology were previous legal filings he made claiming the State of Washington had no authority over him due to problems with the constitutional convention of 1889, as well as Gray’s driver’s license, on which the words “no liability accepted” are written over his signature.  “Based on my training and experience I know that this is also an indicator of ‘sovereign citizen’ ideology,” stated Kraus.

Gray remains free on bond and his lawyer Jessica Riley claims he is no longer involved with the sovereign citizens movement. “Although Mr. Gray may have historically been affiliated with this group, in recent months he had begun to distance himself from the ‘sovereign citizen’ movement,” Riley stated in a case filing.  “Mr. Gray is not the crazy, politically charged renegade that the government makes him out to be in its complaint.”

Gray’s father also filed a letter of support with the court stating, “Recently Andrew fell in the company with people who felt the only hope for survival was guns.  His mother and I, along with others, told him this is ‘not’ the answer.  He was beginning to agree with this [sic] sentiments and it was the beginning of him getting back on track starting with the driving issues.”

However, another letter backing Gray was filed by Thom Satterlee, who identifies himself in a notarized stamp as “Bishop of The Way, Yeshua’s Talmadin.”  For much of the 1990s, Satterlee advocated that part of Snohomish County should secede from the United States and rename itself Freedom County.  In 2000, the self-proclaimed sheriff of this non-existent county told law enforcement that, “federal agents are no longer allowed to seize property for back taxes within Freedom County’s alleged boundaries.”

Satterlee has been convicted of practicing law without a license and attempted to redeem $38 million in  “public wealth rebate notes” at a bank before they were confiscated by the Secret Service. He described Gray as a friend of over ten years and a man of “high moral character whose word is (his) bond.”

  • Caleb McKean

    Consistent with the eternal tradition of natural common law, unless I have harmed or violated someone or their property, I have committed no crime; and am therefore not subject to any penalty.

    This is straight from the affidavit of truth. He didnt hurt anybody or cause property damage. He was following the rules. Why is he being harassed?

  • http://SPLC.org Reality Minded

    Shadow Wolf.. are you for real???,

    Im quoting what you said above: “he was witnessed shooting firearms at the “Militia Training Center”. The movement is guilty by association and must be held accountable for their members KKKriminal offense”.

    The “Militia Training Center” was an inside JOKE, not the real name of the place. What ‘movement’ is gulity by association, as the place he was witnessed shooting at was NOT a militia training center, but just a shooting range?, As I’ve read several articles, and chatted DIRECTLY (FACE TO FACE) with some involved, I never encountered or read anywhere (except here), anyone or anything relating to the KKK …. so I have to ask who are the KKK criminals you are referencing??

    >> Your logic has no logic to it. You’re making things up to suit your misguided feelings, please don’t.

    He , Mr. Gray messed up and appears to have viloated some laws, but he is NOT a member of the KKK or any other militia movement that advocates opprression of other people based on race, religion, sex, etc. Nor was he himself out hurting people or destroying property or threatening anyone with the allegedly posessed weapons. He WAS looking to get out from under , what he seen as, the ever encroaching federal goverment on his rights and freedoms… not everyone wants big government.

    …PLAIN and SIMPLE….

    D69

  • Patrick

    I have used my real name because i realy have been looking into myself maybe becoming a soveriegn citizen.
    I know the constitution says all peaple born on the land are soveriegn by god givin right. Not in the incorperated version.
    The only reason i have is because i was sent to prison on charges I was wrongly accussed.Was told by the police at the age of 17 that if I didnt plead guilty they would send me to jail for not only the crimes they where trying to convict me of but 27 more charges.
    They did this because i lived in a nieghborhood where allot happened one night i got drunk and stole my dads car.
    With the keys mind you.
    And i recked it a little inyo a parked car. I didnt flee the seen waited on the police admitted to what i done.
    I then spent the nest 13 hours not being aloud to comunicate with my parents,no phone call nothing.
    Finaly I just got fed up and told them I didnt want to talk to them.
    Three days latter i got almost 30 warants for every crime that happened in that area for like the last 6 months.
    I could not afford a lawyer and I was just screwed.
    So to get them to leave me alone after three days of not being able to talk to my dad I broke down and just sighned the shit they put in front of me.
    Now i did screw up my probation and have to go back that was my fault nobody elses and I would have faced the consequences for what i did.
    Now i am a convicted fellon wich should of only been a misdameaner.
    I am listed on a gang watch and im not even in a gang lol.
    Then when they run my name because for a few weeks like 6 i went to muslim classes had to sighn up for in there system.
    I now get listed as a possible terrorist what the fuck.
    My goals in life where simple i just wanted to go into the military as gig my grandfather who was until like 12 the only mmale figure in my life.
    Now i can barly get a job had to settle for a ged, oh dont get me wrong i make a few hundred a week at my job not complaining.
    But where where my rights then why didnt anyone help.
    Why wasnt there a laws to protect me.
    Now i know there where but police are here to serve and protect why did they do that.
    I will never get those 8 yrs i did back.
    So yeah i dont like our government why would i.
    But this idiot probaly was trying to do some stupid shit.
    But everyone who wants there freadom is not a terrorist,
    We dont go around hurting peaple.
    But i dont doubt the guy was probally bragging at the gun range and then it caught up with him and he may have not ment anything to.
    I know longer have respect for our laws but i dont go out breaking them i dont own a gun i see know need for one.
    I just want my life set right and i believe it is the way to go.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    FUN FACT: By purposely going out of their way to violate even the most trivial of state and federal laws, “sovereign citizens” actually drastically reduce their personal freedom and ensure and increase their run-ins with the law.

  • Shadow Wolf

    One of the possible reasons why they tend to make up the dubious argument of “distancing” themselves from the moverment, is to prepare themselves for a “Lone Wolf” action. Usually they make these claims after their arrests so that they are no longer with the movement, is to soley protect the central moverment itself. This “no liability” assertions in these cases are weak approaches in such a poor attempt to protect the interests of their movement, as what we are seeing in Gray’s case. Evidently he’s been had(confessed on a secret survelliance), and he’s clearly got “militia” written all over him like juvenile graffiti. The crimes that he is accused of, is directly link to the “militia movement” prompting the U.S. Government to take immediate action to dismantling this domestic terrorist organization. So technically, his word of “distancing” himself from the movement doesn’t help him or the movement, instead it jeopardizes it. Based on evidences that he is still socially active in the “militia”, as the article points out that he was witnessed shooting firearms at the “Militia Training Center”. The movement is guilty by association and must be held accountable for their members KKKriminal offense. And if these loons think they are immune from the Federal Law. Well, think again. The U.S. Government has jurisdiction in all of its claimed territories, even in Indian Country/Soveriegn Nations.

    Plain and simple–
    If you really want to be immuned from the laws of U.S. Government. Simply move to a foreign country.