The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.
Part of Richard Mack’s shtick has always been seeming normal. Even as he spouts far-right conspiracies about the New World Order, his suit-and-tie demeanor and slick authoritativeness give him an aura of credibility that many right-leaning audiences find compelling, if not persuasive.
Perhaps it’s no wonder, then, that last weekend Mack was invited to moderate a debate in the Clark County sheriff’s race in Las Vegas, sponsored by the Libertarian Party of Nevada. And it certainly isn’t any surprise, given the fact that Mack is the leader of the far-right “constitutional sheriffs” movement, that he used that respectable-seeming podium to steer the conversation far to the right.
Mack asked a number of conspiracy-minded questions with anti-government “Patriot” movement leanings, opening with: “When government becomes venal and oppressive and out of control, can the people of Clark County count on you for peace, safety and protection?” He later asked the candidates: “Is forcing a law-abiding citizen to register their firearm unconstitutional, and will you take action to abolish the handgun registration process?”
The candidates’ answers all sturdily affirmed their opposition to such laws. One candidate, former Detective Gordon Martines, denounced the state’s gun-registration laws: “My neighbors, my friends and my family are not going to get carted off to some federal institution because of some pretend legislation. Over my dead body.”
Fortunately, for the people of Clark County, the candidates have had more grounded conversations elsewhere. At a later debate sponsored by the county’s three largest labor unions, the conversation focused on questions about sales taxes, “their leadership qualities and department morale.”
‘Sovereign’ Pleads Guilty, Expects to Spend Less Than a Year in Jail for Plot to Kidnap Police Officers
A sovereign citizen who plotted to abduct police officers in Las Vegas and execute them has pleaded guilty to his seventh felony conviction but likely will end up spending less than a year in jail.
David Allen Brutsche, a convicted sex offender from California who moved to Las Vegas to sell bottled water on the street, pleaded guilty Monday to felony conspiracy to commit kidnapping, The Associated Press reported.
Brutsche, 43, and a woman described as his roommate, 67-year-old Devon Campbell Newman, were arrested by Las Vegas police last August after a four-month undercover investigation.
Police said Brutsche, with six previous felony convictions, “was committed” to the antigovernment “sovereign citizens” movement, considered by the FBI to be a “domestic terrorist movement.” ( continue to full post… )
Antigovernment extremists have always feared those elusive black helicopters. Now they can add government surveillance drones to their paranoia list.
In what’s being called the first case of its kind in the United States, a Predator drone operated by U.S. Customs and Border Protection played a role in the arrest of a farmer who is an adherent of the anti-tax “sovereign citizens” movement and his three sons, all of whom were sentenced earlier this month in Lakota, N.D.
The case started on June 23, 2011, when a neighbor’s six cows wandered on to Rodney Brossart’s 3,600-acre farm in eastern North Dakota and Brossart didn’t immediately return them. Brossart, whose run-ins with the law and his neighbors are reportedly legendary in that part of North Dakota, was accused of threatening and fighting with deputies who went looking for the missing cows before arresting him. ( continue to full post… )
A neighborhood in Columbus, Ohio, was evacuated Wednesday after authorities arrested an armed “sovereign citizen” facing eviction and then found bombs and bomb-making supplies when they searched his foreclosed home.
Mark Kulis, 55, was armed but arrested without incident by Franklin County sheriff’s deputies who waited for him to leave the residence before making the arrest at a nearby car wash, officials said.
Then, after investigators found flash powder and at least five assembled improvised explosive devices while serving a search warrant at the suspect’s home, nearby homes were ordered evacuated. One of the homemade bombs, rigged to a motion sensor, was found in an oven in the kitchen, WBNS-TV in Columbus reported.
It wasn’t clear what purpose the bombs were meant to serve. ( continue to full post… )
The arrest in late November of a prominent “Freeman” leader in Canada has underscored the recent rise of the “sovereign citizens” movement north of the border, as well as law-enforcement authorities’ concerns about that development.
Dean Clifford, a self-described “contractor from Winnipeg” who tours Canada giving lectures to paying audiences on how to avoid paying taxes by declaring oneself a “Freeman on the Land,” was arrested by Canadian authorities on Nov. 24 at a hotel in Hamilton, Ontario, shortly after giving one of his talks. He was charged with failing to show up for court hearings regarding his July 19 arrest for alleged traffic violations, and remains under arrest today.
Clifford is well known in the Canadian movement of sovereign citizens, which is composed of antigovernment activists who generally believe they do not have to follow most tax and criminal laws (many sovereigns, in both the United States and Canada, refer to themselves as “freemen.”) His videos, featuring Clifford holding forth on various means by which ordinary people can “divest” themselves of government control and taxation, are popular among followers in both Canada and the United States, where the sovereign citizen movement has long been associated with right-wing extremists and antigovernment violence. ( continue to full post… )
Following in the footsteps of other antigovernment “sovereign citizens,” Robert Carr figured he could take ownership of houses in foreclosure simply by moving in, changing the locks and filing “quiet title” legal papers.
“If you abandon something, you forfeit all your rights and title to it,” Carr told WLWT-TV in Cincinnati, “and title is not a piece of paper. Title is when you grab it and say ‘mine.’”
Prosecutors in Cincinnati did not agree. And neither did a grand jury.
In an indictment returned last Thursday, Carr, 49, was charged with three counts of breaking and entering and three counts of theft for crimes he is alleged to have committed in the Cincinnati suburbs of Springdale and Forest Park. He remains in the Hamilton County Jail under $40,000 bond.
Authorities say Carr tried to steal 11 house in foreclosure. He filed quiet title to at least one in October, claiming that physical possession made it his property. His companion and alleged accomplice, Bethany Firth, 25, was charged with one count of breaking and entering. ( continue to full post… )
A federal trial is slated to begin this week in Albany, N.Y., for an orthodontist long considered an “elder” in the antigovernment “sovereign citizens” movement and who now faces charges of filing bogus tax returns between 2007 and 2010 in an effort to collect millions in refunds.
Glenn Richard Unger, 62, who often uses the alias “Dr. Sam Kennedy,” is accused of trying to obtain $36 million from the IRS through bogus tax returns. Federal prosecutors have also accused him of scamming another orthodontist, according to the Times Union of Albany.
In 2006, according to prosecutors, Unger told Dr. William O’Donnell that he was giving up his dental practice to do “missionary work” and take care of his ill wife. ( continue to full post… )
The FBI believes an antigovernment “sovereign citizens” group may be behind an effort in Austin, Texas, to find out the addresses of police officers and other first responders through a scam in which young people canvass neighborhoods posing as fundraisers for charity.
Early last month, the FBI issued a “Situational Information Report” warning Texas law enforcement agencies about the activity.
In June, the FBI report says, groups of young people were transported by bus throughout the Austin area and possibly to other states. In teams of at least two, they would knock on doors, saying they worked for a “fund-raising organization” that helped young people with public speaking. They would then ask residents about their occupation. ( continue to full post… )
Nevada Authorities: Possibly More Involved in ‘Sovereign Citizen’ Plot to Kidnap, Execute Police Officers
Las Vegas authorities may be looking for additional suspects, likely members of the antigovernment “sovereign citizens” movement, after the arrest this week of a couple allegedly planning to kidnap, jail, torture and kill police officers.
Convicted sex offender David Allen Brutsche, 42, and a woman described as his roommate, 67-year-old Devon Campbell Newman, are in the Clark County Detention Center in Las Vegas on charges of conspiracy to commit first-degree kidnapping, conspiracy to commit murder and attempted kidnapping. ( continue to full post… )
James Timothy Turner, the president of the largest antigovernment “sovereign citizen” group in the country, was sentenced to 18 years in federal prison on Wednesday for tax crimes. Turner was convicted in March of every count he faced, including conspiracy to defraud the United States; six counts related to fake financial instruments; obstructing the Internal Revenue Service; and failing to file a tax return in 2009.
In delivering the sentence, U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson said he considered two factors –– the vindictiveness Turner had shown in going after federal employees who had challenged his interpretation of the law and Turner’s age. At 57, Turner will be an elderly man when he is released from prison, even if he is released early for good behavior. ( continue to full post… )