The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.
A nationwide manhunt is under way for an antigovernment fugitive who shot at an Idaho State Police officer over the weekend before kidnapping a woman and taking her from Idaho to Montana.
Mitchell Lee Walck, who served prison time in Montana for assaulting a police officer, released the 62-year-old kidnap victim unharmed 580 miles away in Glendive, Mont., after taking her at gunpoint from her home in Rathdrum, Idaho, on Saturday.
Walck, 57, is believed to be driving the woman’s stolen 2005 silver Subaru Forester station wagon, with Idaho license plate K230050, perhaps heading toward his home state of Pennsylvania, authorities told Hatewatch. ( continue to full post… )
A man who was found with more than 145 pounds of explosives in Brisbane, Calif., might have connections to the antigovernment “sovereign citizens” movement, an extremist ideology whose adherents believe they don’t have to obey most laws or pay taxes.
Police said William Harrell, 46, completed a Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) filing in Kentucky that listed himself as a debtor to himself in 2010, a tactic used by some sovereigns in an attempt to free themselves of financial obligations. Yet investigators remain unsure whether Harrell is a true believer in the ideology, or rather someone who has merely dabbled in sovereign tactics. ( continue to full post… )
James Timothy Turner, the enigmatic president of the antigovernment “sovereign citizens” group Republic for the united States of America (RUSA), has told his followers that despite his incarceration on federal tax charges, he is still very much their leader. And as for his legal problems? That’s simply the federal government squashing the “righteous” truth.
“The Lord has called for and annointed [sic] me for this position,” Turner says in a handwritten letter dated Oct. 15 and recently posted to the RuSA website. “His annointing [sic] has not been removed because I have been incarcerated.”
Last month, a federal grand jury indicted Turner on a host of tax charges, including allegations that he attempted to pay his own taxes with a fictitious $300 million bond and tried to assist others who wanted to get out paying taxes with similar bonds ranging from $10 million to $300 million. ( continue to full post… )
If you can’t beat them in court, kill them in the street.
At least that seems to have been the legal strategy of an elderly Texas tax protester and suspected “sovereign citizen,” who authorities charged Monday with trying to hire a hit man to kill the federal judge presiding over his upcoming trial for filing false tax returns.
Phillip Monroe Ballard, 71, was already in federal custody, awaiting trial, when, authorities say, he offered to pay an assassin $100,000 cash – presumably tax-free – to shoot or blow up U.S. District Judge John McBryde of the Northern District of Texas. ( continue to full post… )
A federal judge on Monday determined that James Timothy Turner, the self-declared president of the nation’s largest antigovernment “sovereign citizen” group, was a flight risk and ordered him held until his trial next year. Turner is the founder of the Republic for the united States of America (RuSA), an intricately organized network of supporters united in their complete disdain for the government.
Shackled at the wrists and ankles and wearing a crimson jumpsuit emblazoned with the words “COUNTY JAIL,” Turner, of Ozark, Ala., pleaded not guilty to seven charges of federal tax crimes, including efforts to defraud the federal government and skipping out on his tax liabilities in 2009. ( continue to full post… )
James Timothy Turner, the self-styled “president” of the Republic for the united States of America (RuSA), was indicted today on charges of conspiracy to defraud the federal government and several other tax charges, including attempting to pay taxes with a fictitious financial instrument and attempting to obstruct an Internal Revenue Service investigation.
An Alaska couple who are antigovernment “sovereign citizens” face lengthy prison terms after pleading guilty Monday to charges they plotted to kill a federal judge and an IRS agent involved in a tax case against them.
Lonnie Vernon, 56, a member of Schaeffer Cox’s Alaska Peacemakers Militia, and his wife, Karen Vernon, 66, admitted conspiring to kill U.S. District Court Judge Ralph Beistline and IRS officer Janice Stowell in 2011 in retaliation for ruling the couple owed more than $165,000 in back taxes. ( continue to full post… )
One of two antigovernment “sovereign citizens” tied to last week’s fatal shootings of two sheriff’s deputies and the wounding of two others near New Orleans had applied for a federal license to sell firearms, authorities now confirm.
The man, Terry Lyn Smith, 44, appears to be the leader of a loose-knit group of seven people that includes two of his sons. Members of the group have been linked to the apparently unprovoked shooting of a Desoto Parish sheriff’s deputy, who survived, as well as the subsequent murder of two sheriff’s deputies who tracked them to a trailer park in nearby LaPlace, La., based on a citizen’s tip. ( continue to full post… )
State and federal investigators believe at least two of the five suspects arrested in connection with a shoot-out Thursday that killed two sheriff’s deputies near New Orleans have ties to the sometimes violent, antigovernment “sovereign citizens” movement.
If so, that would mean that sovereigns have now killed four law enforcement officers since May 2010 and wounded several more. The FBI in 2011 labeled sovereigns as comprising a “domestic terrorist movement.” ( continue to full post… )
Two antigovernment “sovereign citizens” who refused to get out of their truck – only to be surrounded by SWAT teams near Spokane, Wash. – ultimately were arrested Wednesday by the only authority they truly recognize: the county sheriff.
Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich told Hatewatch today that he excused himself from an afternoon meeting at the Public Safety Building after being informed of a potentially violent standoff involving his deputies and two self-proclaimed sovereign citizens.
The truck, stopped by detectives and uniformed deputies in Otis Orchards, had invalid license plates and “was covered in sovereign citizen signs, including one that said it was a ‘noncommercial private vehicle’ and ‘no trespassing,’” The Spokesman-Review reported in Thursday’s editions. ( continue to full post… )