Two members of the “sovereign citizen’s” movement were arrested in Las Vegas Tuesday night following a four month investigation that revealed the couple planned to kidnap and execute law enforcement officials. David Brutsche, 42, and Devon Newman, 67, were taken into custody without incident after undercover police officers exposed an elaborate plot to kidnap and extra-judicially execute a police officer. Both individuals were charged with conspiracy to commit murder, conspiracy to commit kidnapping and attempted first-degree kidnapping with use of a deadly weapon.
Brutsche is a six-time convicted felon and a registered sex offender for crimes committed against a child. yes, the sovereign citizen’s movement may fancy themselves modern day Patrick Henry patriots, but in reality they are real life versions of Mickey and Mallory from the movie Natural Born Killers minus the charisma. Their concept of liberty is so jaundiced that they feel they are entitled to molest children or to murder police officers as a matter of course, all in the name of liberty and less government. This is Libertarian philosophy run amok. In the ideological universe where Glenn Beck and Alex Jones are seen as legitimate voices of dissent, the Sovereign citizen’s movement is nurtured and watered, as they seek out their bloody crusade against government authority. The only problem is that these people are deadly serious.
The sovereign citizen movement is populated with domestic terrorists who do not respect the law and are willing to kill for their beliefs. Terry Nichols, Timothy McVeigh’s co conspirator in the Oklahoma City Bombing, was a sovereign citizen, so it is not exaggeration or hyperbole to refer to sovereign citizens as domestic terrorists. In addition, members of the movement have assassinated at least half a dozen police officers since the year 2000 and many other plots to kill cops or judges have been thwarted by undercover investigations like the one in Las Vegas that resulted in the arrest of Brutshce and Newman. Joe Stack, the man who flew an airplane into the IRS building in Austin Texas in February of 2010 was also a sovereign citizen.
Perhaps the most famous police killing by sovereign citizens was the execution of two police officers by the father and son team of Jerry and Joseph Kane, who during a routine traffic stop in Arkansas, ambushed and killed two police officers with 16-year old Joseph firing the fatal gun shots from an AK-47. The two men then fled the scene but later initiated a shootout with police in a Wal-Mart parking lot. Both men were killed in the shootout with police. Fortunately, the Las Vegas plot was unearthed before anybody got killed.
Sadly, we can probably expect more sovereign citizen plots as the extremist right continues to lose its grip on power and as immigration reform, the Affordable Care Act and other reasonable legislation continue to threaten the world view of white supremacist anarchists’ steeped in the philosophy of Ayn Rand and armed to the teeth. While they speak in platitudes about liberty, they plot war on police officers and judges behind closed doors. It is a war they cannot and should not win.
Image: Las Vegas Sun
Keith Brekhus is a progressive American who currently resides in Red Lodge, Montana. He is co-host for the Liberal Fix radio show. He holds a Master’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Missouri. In 2002, he ran for Congress as a Green Party candidate in the state of Missouri. In 2014, he worked as a field organizer for Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick’s successful re-election bid in Arizona’s 1st Congressional District. He can be followed on Twitter @keithbrekhus or on Facebook.