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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: sovereign citizens

‘Sovereigns’ arrested after SWAT standoff

Two men arrested after a SWAT team standoff in Otis Orchards Wednesday have been identified as Michael Francis Hicks, 55, and David Ray Galland, 58.

A sheriff's detective was driving east on Interstate 90 near Sullivan Road when he saw a red truck in front of him with what appeared to be an invalid or modified license plate. The detective advised dispatchers, who confirmed there was no record of the plate.

A sheriff's deputy and a Liberty Lake police officer, both in uniforms and riving marked patrol cars, responded to assist the detective in stopping the vehicle. They followed it northbound on Harvard Road in Liberty Lake, then eastbound to the 25600 block of East Kildea Road in Otis Orchards where they attempted to stop the vehicle.

The truck pulled into a circular driveway “in an attempt to return westbound on Kildea Road,” according to a news release, but the patrol cars blocked it. Hicks, the driver, and Galland refused to exit the vehicle. The deputy, detective and officer didn't approach the truck because of its sovereign license plate and the occupant's refusal to cooperate. The SWAT team was called because law enforcement believed “there was a high probability the occupants may be armed,” according to a news release.

The men's truck had stickers and signs indicating they were part of a growing “sovereign” movement that questions government authority

Hicks and Galland were eventually cut from their seat belts and taken into custody, ending the three-hour standoff. Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich joined SWAT team negotiators because self-proclaimed sovereigns typically recognize the sheriff as the highest law enforcement authority, he said.
“They were, thank goodness, nonviolent and it ended very well,” Knezovich said.
Neither man spoke with police. They were booked into jail for obstructing a public servant and refusal to cooperate. Hicks also is charged with third-degree driving while license suspended.
  

Jury convicts man of filing false liens

A federal jury on Tuesday convicted a self-proclaimed “sovereign” citizen of filing more than $20 billion in false liens against government officials.

Ronald James Davenport faces up to 40 years in prison and a $1 million fine after being convicted of four counts of filing false retaliatory liens against government officials, but he has no criminal history and likely will receive much less time.

The $5 billion liens against all property owned by former U.S. Attorney Jim McDevitt, U.S. District Court Clerk James Larsen, IRS Revenue Officer William Waight and Assistant U.S. Attorney Rolf Tangvald were filed in retaliation for a 2008 civil suit seeking $250,000 in unpaid taxes from Davenport.

“Rather than properly defend himself in the action, the defendant attacked those he perceived as facilitating the lawsuit,” prosecutors said in a trail briefing.

Davenport, then 62, was arrested in June 2010 but has been out of jail and is living in Chewelah, according to court documents.

His ex-wife described him as a vehement anti-tax advocate and told authorities he might “go Ruby Ridge” if the government tried seizing his home for unpaid taxes, according to a previous report. Davenport described himself in court filing as a sovereign, a group of people who typically do not recognize the authority of the federal government.

A sentencing date has not been set.

‘Sovereigns’ gaining attention locally

Deputies were prepared for the worst as they stood by in a Spokane County courtroom earlier this month during routine hearings for mostly low-level felonies.

Their focus was on one of the more benign cases – possession and distribution of marijuana.

But it wasn’t the nature of the allegations that got their attention. It was the defendant, a self-proclaimed “sovereign” who doesn’t consider himself a citizen of the United States even though he was born and raised here.

Adrian B. Shannon, 30, is among a growing number of people who question the legitimacy of federal, state and local government agencies and employ a series of legal maneuvers they believe exempt them from driver’s licenses and birth certificates, paying taxes, or even criminal charges.

“People call it a movement, but it’s individuals, literally sovereigns, that are all learning, ‘Hey we don’t have to put up with these ridiculous laws, because we are the government,’ ” Shannon said.

Read the rest of my Sunday story here.

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