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Another ‘Sovereign’ Accused of Shooting at Police in Texas

By Bill Morlin on January 23, 2012 - 4:01 pm, Posted in Sovereign Citizens

A self-described “sovereign citizen” – part of what the FBI recently described as a growing and dangerous antigovernment movement – goes on trial this week near Fort Worth, Texas, on charges of aggravated assault on a public servant.

James Michael Tesi is accused of shooting at police officer John Fossett in the Fort Worth suburb of Hurst last July 21 when the officer attempted to arrest Tesi on a warrant. As frequently occurs with sovereign citizens, people who believe federal and state laws don’t apply to them, the potentially deadly shooting involving the police officer started as a relatively minor traffic infraction.

The danger of contact between police and sovereign citizens was underscored in an important report released just four months ago by FBI analysts who say sovereigns pose the greatest domestic terrorism threat. That report followed by more than a year the notorious May 20, 2010, murders of two West Memphis, Ark., police officers by a father-son team of sovereigns; both were later killed by police.

“The sovereign-citizen threat likely will grow as the nationwide movement is fueled by the Internet, the economic downturn, and seminars held across the country that spread their ideology and show people how they can tap into funds and eliminate debt through fraudulent methods,” the FBI report said.

“As sovereign citizens’ numbers grow, so do the chances of contact with law enforcement and, thus, the risks that incidents will end in violence,” the FBI report said, adding: “Law enforcement and judicial officials must understand the sovereign-citizen movement, be able to identify indicators, and know how to protect themselves from the group’s threatening tactics.”

Tesi, a 49-year-old occupational therapist, was stopped in February 2010 by police in Arlington, between Fort Worth and Dallas, for not wearing a seat belt. When he failed to pay a $244 fine, a warrant was issued for his arrest, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.

Then, on Dec. 20, 2010, when Tesi was stopped in Colleyville near Fort Worth for allegedly speeding, he failed to produce a driver’s license and was arrested on the Arlington warrant. He was released from jail, but failed to show up in Colleyville Municipal Court, leading to yet another warrant for his arrest.

When Officer Fossett saw Tesi driving, knowing there was a warrant for his arrest, he followed the wanted man to his home. Tesi parked his vehicle in his garage and then came out, firing a weapon, police reported. The uniformed police officer returned fire, wounding Tesi in the face and leg. The officer wasn’t struck in the exchange of gunfire, and Tesi recovered.

Initially, Tesi was charged in a grand jury indictment with attempted capital murder. But last week the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office decided to modify the charge to aggravated assault on a public servant, the Fort Worth newspaper reported.

If convicted of the felony, Tesi faces a possible sentence of up to life in prison and a $10,000 fine.

As the traffic citation case unfolded, Tesi again took direction from the sovereign citizen playbook and attempted to move the case into U.S. District Court. He acted as his own attorney and filed assorted legal motions, some of them bordering on the nonsensical, that cited admiralty law and the Uniform Commercial Code. (Such citations are typical of sovereign citizens.) In various court filings, Tesi identified himself as “James Michael; house of Tesi” and “James Michael Joseph; house of Tesi El,” the Fort Worth newspaper reported.

At one point, Tesi even attempted to fire U.S. District Judge Terry Means. “This court and all officers of this court have no right to presume anything about Me, the Demandant, except that I am a sovereign living soul, unimpaired by any contracts,” Tesi wrote in one of his legal briefs.

Not persuaded, the federal judge not long thereafter dismissed Tesi’s do-it-yourself lawsuit.

  • Aron


    Good luck with that ‘Second French Revolution.’ I’ll be right behind you. Laughing myself to exhaustion.

  • BigDogInTexas

    How did the “comments” degrade into a back and forth on commenters ancestrial heritage? Talk about a bunch of loons – better take a good look in the mirror gentlemen and by your language I use that term loosly.

    I believe the same types of discussions and feelings went back and forth across loyalty lines when the Magna-Carta was nailed to the monarchs castle door, and when the ‘colonists’ dared raise their voice against the crown to eventually delclair themselves soverign and free fighting for what today we call the United States.

    That government of the past has morphed into what we fought so hard against…a class of people who believe themselves above the law, it is not Mr. Tesi but our ‘elected’ officials that dictate to their employeers (us) .

    I believe in civil obedence, but when a government proves time and again that they are above our indivicual rights then it is time for another “French Revolution”, we pull them all out into the streets and onto the gallows.

  • Ohillip

    At least this article admitted that as things continue the way that they are, more people will wake up to the sovereign movement.

    Hopefully they will not become violent like the FBI seems determined to underscore.

  • Sam Molloy

    There are people on here that are better educated than me, but I believe anthropologists refer to some of the people from Afganistan and Turkey as “Aryan” There are some gorgeous people from there but they are not blonde.The blondes were painting their bodies blue when Iran had hot and cold running water.

  • Kiwiwriter

    Very interesting post, Ruslan. I guess WNs lack ability to be really introspective…and blame all the world’s (and their’s) troubles on shadowy conspiracies and assorted ethnicities.

    I hope Jason can learn from here and raise himself from the bog of White Nationalism and neo-Nazism. He might be surprised to learn that the top Nazi leaders were themselves pretty far from the Aryan ideal in looks and behavior. I doubt Mr. Smith can trace his ancestry on both sides of his family directly back to Charlemagne unsullied.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    Well to his credit, he did post some very informative information about dung beetles from a Wikipedia article, the only accurate thing he ever posted here. The way I see it, he knows that he hasn’t been able to address any of our arguments here, otherwise he would have answered one of us.

    If there’s one thing I can tell you about WNs, they really hate that. It starts to bug them when they realize that the stuff they write on Stormfront that gets them all kinds of little green dots(reputation points for those who don’t use forums) gets shot down so easily when they’re out in the real world. Occasionally you get this introspective type who gets frustrated about this, and then they start questioning their beliefs and how they got them.

  • ModerateMike

    Well, I don’t know if any of us are really getting through to Jason, but he is visiting the website and reading the articles. That may be the best that we can hope for at this point.

  • Reynardine

    Jason Smith has grown so ridiculous…could he be a Poe?

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    “Are you trying to link this particular crime to all white people, and say … what? Whites are responsible? Or this characterizes all white people?”

    I think this sentence from Jason shows how disconnected WNs are from reality. Here’s a story about a guy who was arrested and Jason interprets this as an attempt to associate his crime with all “white people”, despite the fact that there is nothing to suggest this in the article. This is either a case of projection(as WNs associate crimes of individual non-whites with those groups as a whole), or extreme illiteracy. What kind of idiot reads a story like this and says “OMG! They’re trying to associate this guy with all white people!”

    It also might be due to the fact that many of these yahoos delude themselves into thinking THEY are representatives of white people.

    Anyway, Jason, hurry up with that DNA test so we can see your results.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    Hey Jason, let’s see YOUR DNA test to prove you are a “pure Aryan of Northern European descent.”(a bit of an oxymoron as real Aryans didn’t live in Northern Europe) In any case you’re not European in any practical way. I wonder what we’ll find in your genetic code.

    BTW, Tesi is of Visigothic(i.e. Germanic) roots an originated in the kingdom of Leon, Spain. More proof that White Nationalists don’t know Europe.

  • Ithink

    ^CIA Jon, there could be anywhere between 250,000 to hald a million soverreign citizens at the moment in America, far too many for our national defense and police force to be ignorant of and enough to make news reporting like this completely legitimate for all eyes and ears…P.S.-If Mr. Tesis does turn out to be a Jew, Mr. “Jason Smith”, will that convince you of the utter mental illness it is to be a white power movement affiliate?…

  • Ithink

    And no legitimate media or public figure has tried to link the Columbine shootings or even this crime in particular to all white people. That’s as much racist and insubstantial BS as believing only blacks commit theft, Hispanics selling grugs, or Asians are all multi-lingual deficient.

    One of the beauties of being a member of the status quo, (i.e. White people) is that you rarely, if ever, stereotyped in sweeps for any negative qualities or characteristics. Otherwise, what your feeling may just be what every other non-white person is thinking pretty much every day of their existence in America. Learn to walk in your neighbor’s shoes for awhile and see shades of gray between the Black and White (no puns intended) Mr. Smith…

  • Ithink

    ^Ignoring Jason’s otherwise surreal disconnect from reality as a self-descriptive member of some ominous ‘Pro-White’ movement, remember that for all intents of your otherwise illogical conclusions, Jews are considered ‘white people’ by census stats ignoring obvious religious and cultural affiliation from mainstream gentile European America. Did you know that the guy who created Sea Monkeys and a whole bunch of novelty toys (Harold Nathan Braunhut) was a lifetime donor and supporter to the KKK, American Nazi Party, and the annual Aryan conference? Until the Washington Post outed him as being raised and ethnically Jewish, the reaction of the supremacists were typically contradictory; they continued to believe the imaginary ‘liberal media’ was working to subjugate them and that ‘he was really one of us’ despite the overwhelming diction reality otherwise stated. Priceless!

    And P.S.-this post ahd nothing to do with racism or racial issues per se, but was merely sending out a warning to a bystanding public and on-task police force of the lurking terrorists that are U.S.-born and homegrown. If an overwhelming # of ‘Sovereign Citizens’ are in fact white, its because they don’t believe in the Constitutional Amendments beyond the Bill of Rights and are radical patriot militiamen. If you find any black, Hispanic, or Asian folks willing to adhere to such nonsense they are probably as diluted as you are, if not more so…

  • Reynardine

    Aron, you’re quite correct. Hitler even had a nose job when people got too noticing (photos make that quite clear). As for Jason Smith, if he wants to inject specious matter, I suggest he confine it to his own septic system.

  • Aron

    Jason, let’s get a photo of you. Are you an ‘Aryan?’

    I sure bet you aren’t. Because your beloved Adolf definitely wasn’t.

  • CIA Jon

    around how many sovereigns are there?

  • Jason Smith

    I’ve just found a photo of James Michael Tesi. I suspect he is a Jew. Just look at his facial features. The shape of his face. His eyes. The lips. The ears. Just looking at his picture, quite clearly he is not an Aryan.

    His picture can be found here

  • Jason Smith

    “Tesi” does not sound like an Anglo-Saxon name. It’s not a German name either. What is the point of this story? Is Mr. Tesi a white person of Northern European decent? Are you trying to link this particular crime to all white people, and say … what? Whites are responsible? Or this characterizes all white people?

    Just like with the Columbine shooting in the 1990’s originally the media tried to link the shooters with ‘white supremacy’. Quickly we learned however that Dylan Klebold, one of the shooters, was a Jewish boy who had attended a Yeshiva school at one point in his life.

    Unless you can post documentary or DNA evidence proving that James Michael Tesi is a pure Aryan and not a Jew, there is no way you can link him to our movement. I suspect he is a Jew just like Dylan Klebold of the Columbine story.

  • ModerateMike

    As I read stories like these, I can’t help wondering how many others there are out there who, whether because of mental illness, desperation, or a combination of these factors, are susceptible to such complete irrationality. I am not excusing Tesi’s behavior, but rather pointing out that in the times in my life when I was jobless, indebted, and frustrated, I always had people in my life whom I could lean upon to help me get through it. May everyone be as fortunate as I…

  • Aron

    ‘Tesi-El:’ is that Superman’s long-lost brother?

    What a dummy!

  • Ithink

    There sure are a lot of these crazies in my good ol’ home state thrashing about, unsurprisingly in the more rural, ‘disenchanted’ areas that are the heartland of the Post-Neocon & Tea Party advocates; but I guess the black guy in the White House and Ricky Perry’s campaign bust is just a little too much for these kooks to handle. And there are people who wonder and believe (yours truly sometimes included) how we ever could evolve from the regressive chimpanzee; Thank you God for insane asylums and (relatively) practical law enforcement in America, for whatever they’re worth…