Sovereign citizen arrested for weapons violations

A self-described sovereign citizen was arrested in Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana, on March 2, 2018, on a fugitive warrant from Missouri.

Officers with the Ponchatoula Police Department arrested Phillip Anthony Guidry, 48, during a traffic stop near Robert, Louisiana. Guidry was not armed at the time of his arrest and did not physically resist.

As Guidry was taken into custody, “he said he was a sovereign citizen and did not have to comply with the U.S. government,” the Ponchatoula Police Chief Bry Layrisson stated in a press release.

Guidry was wanted in Missouri on charges related to being a felon in possession of firearms and carrying a concealed weapon without a permit. Guidry has since been charged with various additional firearms violations in Louisiana.

Prior to his arrest, authorities located Guidry at his residence, described as a “fortified residential compound,” located in Loranger, Louisiana. Guidry’s property is reportedly surrounded by a barbed wire fence. The fence perimeter is allegedly monitored by surveillance cameras. Three guard dogs also roam the property to deter unwanted visitors and trespassers. Guidry’s residence has windows equipped with bullet-proof roll-down shutters.

As their investigation was ongoing, authorities learned that Guidry was reportedly training others on how to become “sovereign citizen” at his fortified property.

Once Guidry was taken into custody and his guard dogs secured, authorities were able to safely search the property. Their search uncovered an array of firearms — six guns, including a suspected illegal machinegun with an obliterated serial number, along with a six-month supply of food. Guidry was charged with six additional criminal counts related to his firearms.

Guidry reportedly has a past criminal history related to narcotics possession and other minor criminal offenses. Upon his arrest, Guidry was transported and processed into the Tangipahoa Parish Jail on the Missouri warrant. Local, state and federal authorities are continuing their investigation.

The Ponchatoula Police were assisted by the Louisiana State Police Criminal Intelligence Division, the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations Task Force during their investigation into Guidry’s criminal activities.

The FBI considers sovereign citizens a growing domestic terrorist threat.  Sovereign citizens have been involved in numerous violent confrontations with law enforcement, including the August 16, 2012, shooting of four sheriff’s deputies in St. Johns Parish, Louisiana, which killed two.

“Sovereign citizens are anti-government extremists who believe that even though they physically reside in this country, they are separate or ‘sovereign’ from the United States,” the FBI says. “As a result, they believe they don’t have to answer to any government authority, including courts, taxing entities, motor vehicle departments, or law enforcement.”

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