News Roundup for August 11, 2011

A former TSA employee from Minneapolis pleaded guilty to a hate crime for assaulting an 83-year-old Somali man. George Anderson, 64, is accused of threatening the victim because he was a Muslim and then chasing him into the street in May 2010.

Self-proclaimed sovereign citizen and public television host John McGowan was convicted of first-degree sexual assault on Wednesday. McGowan had questioned the government’s right to bring charges in the case, but a six-person jury disagreed. McGowan faces up 20 years in prison for the charges.

A Michigan man with connections to the sovereign citizens movement has been found guilty on charges of gun and drug possession. Jeffrey Szewczyk, 38, was found with several guns and 73 marijuana plants in a police raid on his house in October. During the trial, Szewcyzk espoused some of his sovereign citizen beliefs, rejecting the government’s right to regulate drugs and his possession of weapons. He faces up to four years in prison for the charges.

Two members of a white supremacist gang were arrested for a robbery in California. The suspects were charged with residential robbery, making terrorist threats and participating in a gang after entering the home of a couple, getting into an altercation with one victim, and stealing some their possessions. Both men were found with white supremacist paraphernalia.

The trial of eight members of the anti-government Hutaree militia has been postponed until February. Defense lawyers said they did not have enough time to challenge new evidence against their clients. The defendants stand accused of plotting to murder police officers in hopes of sparking a rebellion against the federal government.