- The sovereign movement is a growing ideology where people believe they can opt-out of following certain laws
- The Federal Bureau of Investigation has deemed the sovereign movement as domestic terrorists
- Sovereigns believe the government is a corporation that uses our “strawman” identity as collateral with foreign investors
- It is common for sovereign citizens to flood the courts with nonsensical documents and even file fraudulent liens against public workers
Imagine a world where you decided what laws you had to follow, taxes did not exist, and the federal government was hiding unlimited wealth you could access if you filed the proper documents. This is not a fantasy world, it is the delusional belief system of a sovereign citizen. The sovereign movement is an ideology that is growing in popularity over the last several years despite the dangerous legal consequences that can come with it.
The FBI Classifies The Sovereign Citizen Movement As Domestic Terrorism
The claims of sovereign citizens are painfully confusing at times but can be summed up in the basic concept that America’s laws do not apply to them. Those involved in the sovereign movement typically do not identify themselves as sovereign citizens for two main reasons. Sovereigns claim the term sovereign citizen is an incorrect term and an oxymoron, which is correct.
Despite the term being an oxymoron, it is still the title most commonly used by the Federal Bureau of Investigation when classifying someone practicing sovereign ideologies, which is the second reason one may firmly deny the title of sovereign citizen. The FBI declared the “Sovereign Citizen Movement” as domestic terrorism. The move by the FBI to declare sovereign citizens as domestic terrorists has led many to begin using the terms “common law,” “Constitutional Law” and “Freeman.”
A 2010 release from the FBI goes into more detail on what exactly defines a sovereign citizen. “Many sovereign citizens do not pay their taxes. They hold illegal courts that issue warrants for judges and police officers. They clog up the court system with frivolous lawsuits and liens against public officials to harass them. And they use fake money orders, personal checks, and the like at government agencies, banks, and businesses,” the article reads.
Below is an example of a court document created by a “Great Jury” in an illegal court on behalf of Crystal Nuttle after she was convicted of custodial interference. Nuttle and two other women assisted a mother in taking her child from a Department of Child Safety office in Tucson, Arizona. Following her conviction, an illegal court was assembled under “The American National Union of The United State of America and Party” to create a “Declaration of Indictment” against the State of Arizona for prosecuting Nuttle.
When encountering a sovereign, police around the country have been instructed to gather evidence to turn into their intelligence unit and to share known sovereign identities with neighboring jurisdictions due to the FBI’s labeling. Turning in this information also helps protect officers from possible fraudulent liens being placed against them.
The vast majority of sovereign citizens either deny the authority of the federal government or the lawfulness for it to exist. They will often claim they are not citizens of America, or whatever country they live in. Instead, they may consider themselves to be citizens of independent sovereign nations or citizens of the state or providence they reside in. A growing theme in the sovereign community is the claim they are part of a religious “nation” that only answers to the authority of God. This religious shield helps to draw in supporters under the guise they are doing God’s work. Once a sovereign claims a fictional existence outside of the United States they then push the idea that they exist outside the jurisdiction of the government, an argument that almost always fails and often ends in arrest or jail time as seen below.
Posse Comitatus And The Origin Of The Sovereign Movement
The origin of the sovereign movement can be traced back to William P. Gale and a hate group in Oregon in 1971. The white supremacy group “Posse Comitatus” hated Jews, African-Americans, and government officials above the rank of sheriff. The group deemed the federal government as illegitimate and only recognized lawful authority on a county level. Posse Comitatus were also avid supporters of tax rebellion.
Posse Comitatus is defined as “the power or force of the country. The entire population of a country above the age of fifteen, which a sheriff may summon to his assistance in certain cases as to aid him in keeping the peace, in pursuing and arresting felons.” In 1878 the Posse Comitatus Act, 18 U.S.C. Section 1385, outlawed the use of the Army or Air Force to enforce the law unless authorized by the Constitution or an act of Congress.
The Posse Comitatus Act outlaws the willful use of any part of the Army or Air Force to execute the law unless expressly authorized by the Constitution or an actof Congress.History supplies the grist for an argument that the Constitution prohibits military involvement in civilian affairs subject to only limited alterations by Congress or the President, but the courts do not appear to have ever accepted the argument unless violation of more explicit constitutional command could also be shown.The express statutory exceptions include the legislation that allows the President to use military force to suppress insurrection orto enforce federal authority, 10 U.S.C. Sections 251-255, and laws that permit the Department of Defense to provide federal, state and local police with information, equipment, and personnel, 10U.S.C. §§271-284.Via Congressional Research Service
Gale mistakingly identified the Fourteenth Amendment as an act that converted “sovereign citizens” into “federal citizens” by an act of agreement to accept benefits offered by the federal government. Many sovereign groups today mistakenly interpret the first line of the Fourteenth Amendment as meaning all citizens of the United States are slaves to the government due to the federal government overriding state laws. Some have come to the conclusion they can file paperwork with their county government to renounce the amendment, which in turn frees them from the legal confines that bind their fellow American slaves.
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.Excerpt From The 14th Amendment
Admiralty Law And Contracts
Sovereign groups are different from other groups under watch by the federal government as there is no central group. Instead, the sovereign movement is made up of countless smaller groups that share the same basic belief but differ in some of the more specific details. In general, sovereigns build their propaganda on their detailed but mistaken interpretations of language written into laws. They will commonly create very intricate webs of connections between the Constitution, court decisions and international treaties to act as evidence to support their radical claims.
Sovereigns commonly claim the United States is a corporation, not a country. All of the laws in the United States allegedly come from admiralty law or maritime law. Admiralty law is a combination of U.S. law and international law which covers contracts, torts, injuries, or offenses that take place on navigatable water. Traditionally, admiralty law only covered the ocean but was later expanded to cover lakes, rivers, and any public body of water.
Many sovereigns use their belief of all laws being admiralty law to claim any legal issue as a contract dispute. Since a contract is obviously void if both parties did not agree to the contract, sovereigns claim by adamantly refusing to enter the “contract” that they are not subject to the laws. This also relates to sovereigns strangely signing their name and refusing to accept legal notices or bills. Sovereigns basically believe the government can only rule over the people with their consent.
The Strawman Theory
The majority of sovereigns believe when the federal government abandoned the gold standard in the 1930s it began substituting its citizens to use as collateral with foreign investors. As with any other sovereign belief, the specifics can differ from group to group but the basic theory goes as follows. The United States has a secret Treasury account set up for each and every citizen at birth. Each account has hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars in it or pledged to it. These accounts cause two separate identities to exists. The identity used as the collateral for foreign investors, or the “strawman,” and their flesh and blood identity.
Sovereigns believe this strawman identity is enslaved by the federal government, claiming the person’s name being written in all capital letters in legal documents is evidence of this claim. This is a common reason why sovereigns believe birth certificates, social security cards, drivers’ licenses, tax forms, court documents, and anything that uses capital letters to spell out the name represents their corporate shell identity or their strawman.
To avoid agreeing to what they believe is a contract with a false government or becoming a federal citizen, sovereigns will often sign their name in strange fashions. A sovereign may identify themselves as an executor for their strawman. They may also claim to be an “Executive Trustee for the Private Contract Trust known as” or “Secured Party, Authorized Representative, Attorney-in-Fact on behalf,” of the strawman name. Sovereigns may also add hyphens, punctuation, colons, and copyright symbols into their name. The prefix “Noble” is commonly seen, along with the suffix “Bey” or “El Bey.” Documents from a sovereign may also include red ink, thumbprints, or the zip code in brackets to further show you are not dealing with an enslaved strawman or federal citizen. Separating the straw man from their flash and blood identity is known as “redemption.”
A common belief is that sovereigns can access their strawman’s secret trust and even use it to pay their debts. Sovereign may also use a “Charge Back Notice” when responding to bills. The notice is meant to inform the bill collector the United States Treasury will pay the debt from the strawman account.
Uniform Commercial Code
Many attempts have been made by sovereigns to access their secret trust fund, yet nobody has ever succeeded. Sovereigns have a borderline obsession with the Uniform Commercial Code which can be seen in their attempts to access their strawman trust funds. The UCC is a comprehensive set of laws that governs all commercial transactions in the United States. It is uniformly adopted state law, not federal law, which explains why it attracts those within the sovereign movement. According to the Uniform Law Commission, “Because the USS has been universally adopted, businesses can enter into contracts with confidence that the terms will be enforced in the same way by the courts of every American jurisdiction.”
It is believed by filing a UCC financing statement they can establish a superior right to their strawman’s Treasury account. Once they have established their superior right they can create bonds to pay off their debts. Sovereign misunderstanding of the UCC leads them to believe if the collector wrongly refuses to accept the payment they no longer have any responsibility to pay the debt. As with every area of sovereign ideology, these UCC scams and schemes vary from group to group.
Randall Beane And Heather Tucci-Jarraf
In September, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against Randall Beane and Heather Tucci-Jarraf who were convicted of defrauding the U.S. government for $31 million while trying to access their strawman accounts. According to court documents, Beane was an Air Force electrical engineer for years but at some point, he “became convinced that the government was spying on the public, prompting a self-described “quest” into the world of conspiracy theories.” Beane’s research into different conspiracy theories led him to a strawman theory claiming you can tap into your secret trust fund and use them as a bottomless expense account by filing paperwork with “the correct verbiage.”
At the time of stumbling upon the conspiracy, Beane owed more money than he could afford on his vehicle, credit cards and four personal loans. While researching, Beane came across the work of Tucci-Jarraf. Tucci-Jarraf was a former lawyer who worked as a prosecutor and public defender. She ran a website, posted videos, and contributed to online talk shows about the strawman conspiracy theory. Beane saw Tucci-Jarraf as a visionary who could “make a difference” and reached out to her. Tucci-Jarraf agreed to help Beane with his strawman.
While browsing Facebook, Beane stumbled upon a video posted by an anonymous user going under the name “Harvey Dent,” the villain from Batman. The video claimed to show people how to access their secret trust fund account. In reality, the video taught them how to commit wire fraud by exploiting a deficiency in the “Automated Clearing House” network that banks use to transfer funds. After telling Tucci-Jarraf about the video, she gave her advice and directed him to potentially helpful documents.
Beane decided to try the idea and logged into his bank’s website. He followed the video’s instructions and entered his own Social Security number as his account number. For the routing number, Beane entered the routing number for the Federal Reserve. Beane then made fraudulent payments to pay off all his debts and then bragged about paying his debts with his trust account on Facebook. A few days later, Beane decided to start purchasing Certificates of Deposit (CDs) with funding from the Federal Reserve and moral support from Tucci-Jarraf.
In just one night Beane purchased $28 million worth of CDs. He would later increase that total to $31 million before he began cashing in the CDs. Beane bought an $86,000 truck and a half-million-dollar motor home that had two bathrooms, marble floors, and a fireplace. One of Beane’s banks froze one of his accounts after becoming suspicious of the sudden fortune. The bank also attempted to cancel payment on the truck and mobile home. Tucci-Jarraf stepped in at that point and advised Beane on how to protect his newfound assets by placing them in the name of a trust and preparing pseudo-legal documents on his behalf. She called the banks and a dealership posing as Beane’s attorney and reassured them he rightfully owned the money. Her phone calls worked and the bank stopped canceling payments.
By the time Tucci-Jarraf helped protect Beane’s assets it was already too late. A federal investigation had already begun. When federal officers learned Beane planned on driving off the dealership with his new mobile home they were there waiting. Beane refused to leave the motor home and had to be removed. One of the other occupants was told to call Tucci-Jarraf. On the phone, Tucci-Jarraf claimed she was “planning military operations.” She was later arrested in Washington D.C. where she had gone after she contacted the Secret Service to request a meeting with President Donald Trump.
Ignorance Of The Law Is Not An Excuse
Once they were arrested, the two began flooding the courts with frivolous sovereign motions. They asserted the United States courts cannot hold anyone “except by their own consent” and that the United States was a “bankrupt corporation.” They filed hundreds of pages of “pointless” UCC filings related to something called “The One People’s Public Trust.” They demanded money from the government, and at one point sent an itemized bill to the court seeking $46 quintillion dollars. Out of concern these actions would confuse a jury, the judge granted a motion that barred the two from conducting similar actions during trial.
Both Beane and Tucci-Jarraf requested to represent themselves. The judge held a hearing for both of them ensuring they understood the risks of self-representation. They provided some unusual answers but were determined to have knowingly and intelligently waived their right to counsel. Standby counsel was granted to take over in case the judge ended self-representation during the trial.
The two defendants did their best at trial. Despite cross-examining the government’s witnesses, introducing evidence, testifying on their own behalf and giving compelling closing statements justifying their worldview, the jury convicted Beane of bank and wire fraud and both of money laundering.
Beane was sentenced to 155 months in prison and ordered to pay over a half-million dollars in restitution. Tucci-Jarraf was sentenced to 57 months in prison. Since their convictions, both tried to appeal by faulting the court for allowing them to represent themselves. Beane and Tucci-Jarraf argued that they gave odd answers to straightforward questions. When they were sworn in they both replied with, “I am source of all that is.” Tucci-Jarraf pointed towards her quibbles over meaningless turns of phrase, such as the difference between “true” and “truthful” and the difference between “pro se” and “pro per” representation. Their arguments did not change that they listened carefully to the judge’s questions and gave lucid answers. At no time did they demonstrate they misunderstood the questions or had any doubt over self-representation.
Both defendants argued they should have received mental competency tests but the appeal court did not agree. While they did spout off implausible conspiracy theories, they succeeded in other respects. During cross-examination, they asked logical questions aimed at exposing gaps in the witnesses’ knowledge and inconsistencies in the prosecutor’s narrative. Regardless of being correct, they were able to articulate their ideologies and clearly explained what led them to their actions. An experienced attorney, of course, would have done a better job but that does not change the fact that both defendants showed they were competent.
At the end of the day, the appeal was a landmark in dealing with sovereign law. It raised the main question, were their idiosyncratic actions and unconventional beliefs enough to establish proof they were mentally unsound. The court determined the hard reality was that the “values of the Sixth Amendment allow individuals charged with crimes to act in unorthodox ways even if that compromises other values of the Sixth Amendment.”
In similar cases, the Supreme Court has never suggested an eccentric worldview establishes mental incompetence. “The hard fact is that intelligent people, even very intelligent people, can believe baffling things,” the decision read. Beane, Tucci-Jarraf, and the countless others who believe in strawman theories may be misguided, “some dangerously so,” but that does not necessarily mean they live in a “private mental world” devoid of all reality. The court affirmed both convictions.
Even with Beane and Tucci-Jarraf realizing their mistakes and admitting their beliefs were nonsensical, sovereign supporters continued to argue the two were innocent and the secret trust rightfully belonged to them. Sovereign YouTube vlogger Mike O’Brien started a petition on Change.org titled “FREE Heather Ann Tucci- Jarraff AND Randall Keith Beane FROM THEIR UNLAWFUL IMPRISONMENT.” The petition received 2,325 signatures. The description reads as follows.
Heather Ann Tucci- Jaraff AND Randall Keith Beane WERE UNLAWFULLY ARRESTED AND INCARCERATED FOR USING THEIR TREASURY DIRECT/ HIDDEN SOCIAL SECURITY TRUST ACCOUNT FROM HJR 192 AND THE BIRTH CERTIFICATE SLAVE TRADE. THEY BOTH HAVE PROVIDED ALL OWNERSHIP AND TITLE OF THEIR TRUST. HEATHER WAS SUPPOSED TO BE MEETING WITH TRUMP AT THE TIME OF HER ARREST AND HAS BEEN DERAILED AND KEPT FROM SUBMITTING CRUCIAL DOCUMENTS TO HER DEFENSE BY JUDGE DEBORAH A ROBINSON OF THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. WE ARE ASKING THAT ALL DOCUMENTS WHICH WERE DEEMED NOT ADMISSIBLE WRONGLY BY THIS CORRUPT JUDGE WHICH HAS ALLOWED POLITICIANS INCLUDING OBAMA’S MOTHER, A FEDERAL MOST WANTED FUGITIVE GO FREE , FOR THESE DOCUMENTS TO BE ACCEPTED AND ALLOWED TO PROVE Heather AND Randall’s INNOCENCE AND FOR ALL CHARGES TO BE DISMISSED BEING THE ACCOUNTS USED WERE IN FACT THEIR ACCOUNTS IN THEIR ALL CAPS STRAWMAN NAME IN THEIR SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER. THE FRAUD COMMITTED WAS BY THE FEDERAL RESERVE AND THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FOR CREATING THESE ACCOUNTS AND TRADING ON AMERICANS LIVES FOR PROFIT. AN IMMEDIATE INVESTIGATION NEEDS TO BE LAUNCHED BY A UNBIASED THIRD PARTY INTO THE FEDERAL RESERVE ACCOUNTS EXISTENCE, THE ARRESTING OFFICERS OF BOTH Randall Keith Beane (ESPECIALLY HIM FOR THE POLICE BRUTALITY AND TREATMENT THAT OCCURRED ON HIS ARREST WHICH IS ON FILM) ,AND Heather Ann Tucci- Jaraff WHICH HER ARREST WAS VERY UNORTHODOX AS WELL (MORE INFO CAN BE PROVIDED), THE PUBLIC DEFENDER REPRESENTING HER, THE JUDGE FOR Heather MAGISTRATE DEBORAH A ROBINSON FOR HER UNFAIR, ILLEGAL AND CORRUPT HANDLING OF THE PROCEEDINGS AND THE JUDGE FOR Randall Keith Beane AS WELL, AND FINALLY THE CHARGING/ARRESTING AGENCIES. THE GENIE HAS ALREADY ESCAPED THE BOTTLE AND AFTER WELL OVER A MILLION HAVE WOKEN TO THE TRUTH OF THESE ACCOUNTS AND THE COUNTLESS PROOF WE HAVE COLLECTED ALONG WITH FACTS THIS NEEDS TO BE BROADCAST ON THE CRIMINALLY SILENT MEDIA EVEN AFTER HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS CALLED EACH MEDIA OUTLET THE SAME DAY A DIFFERENT ONE EVERY DAY IN A COORDINATED EFFORT. THE FACTS ARE IN AND THE FED SHOULD BE SITTING WHERE HEATHER AND RANDY ARE TODAY AND THOSE PATRIOTS SHOULD BE FREE AT ONCE! FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE PROOF AND EXISTENCE OF ALL OF THIS VISIT MY YOUTUBE PAGE AND WATCH THE 100 VIDEOS ON THIS TOPIC!Mike Obrien Via Change.org
A sovereign citizen’s greatest weapon is the endless floods of nonsensical paperwork. Their weapon of choice is filing liens against public servants they feel unjustly persecuted them. Liens are most commonly filed by individuals or businesses who are unable to collect a genuine debt. Liens can force a property to be sold to rectify a debt or prevent an owner from selling their property until the lien is settled. Removing a lien is not an easy process. It often requires attorneys and can take a year or longer to have it successfully discharged. In the interim, it can ruin a person’s credit and has even pushed some into bankruptcy.
The act of filing false documents is a crime in most states but only when they are filed against a public servant with retaliatory intent. However, the majority of legal consequences for “paper terrorism”—the term used to describe the endless nonsensical documents filed by sovereigns—are reactive. Colorado, Mississippi, Ohio, Utah, and West Virginia have taken a proactive stance to battle paper terrorism by passing legislation that allows recording clerks or secretaries of the State to deny filings that appear fraudulent. Iowa, Nebraska, and North Dakota are allowed to reject filings when the person names themselves as the debtee and the debtor in an attempt to tap into their secret government trust account, otherwise known as the earlier mentioned redemption conspiracy theory.
In Indiana, if a lien does not progress into a lawsuit within 30 days they become null and void. Florida, New Jersey, New York, and South Carolina have expansive laws covering a variety of offenses that include false liens, affidavits, invoices, valueless checks, mortgages, contracts, and other legal documents. Punishment can vary from no punitive element to civil damages that can be won in court to criminal charges. Financial penalties can range from $100 to $10,000 or greater. In Louisiana, “Whoever commits the crime of filing a false lien against a law enforcement or court officer shall be fined not less than five hundred dollars nor more than the amount of the value of the false lien or encumbrance.” With many sovereigns filing liens in the billions or higher, Louisiana allows the court to fine a sovereign the same amount. Florida—which has a high number of issues with sovereign citizens—is the only state that allows for prosecution of individuals that file false liens and financial records.
In 2018, Bruce Doucette was sentenced to 38 years in prison after being convicted of 34 felony counts related to his paper terrorism and sovereign teachings. Doucette gave himself the title of “Superior Court Judge” and traveled the country teaching others how to set up common law court operations. Doucette was a leader in drafting fake warrants for various elected officials’ arrests, fraudulent subpoenas, and other nonsensical paperwork he and others would “serve” on different public offices. These documents were typically signed in red ink or included a bloody thumbprint. Doucette’s crimes included racketeering, attempting to influence public servants, filing false legal documents, tax evasion, and retaliation against judges.
Doucette represented himself in court. Before the hearing, the judge asked if it was okay for him to proceed. Doucette responded, “I do not consent and never have.” Before he was told his sentence, Doucette told the judge, “As my witness, everything I did was done with honor and integrity to lawfully and peaceably remove the corruption from this government and from these courts. And may Yahweh have mercy on your souls when he judges you.”
One of the products of Doucette’s nonsensical teachings was the “Bears Law and Forensic Science Team,” headed up by a sovereign named Ronnie Lee “Bear” Davis. Davis pled guilty in Polk County, Florida to battery and possession of a firearm by a convicted firearm after he held a woman from Texas against her will at the “Bears Law” compound located on Appalachian Trail in Polk County. The woman claimed Davis tried to make her “one of his wives” and warned her the only way she was leaving the compound was in a body bag or on crutches. Before his arrest, Davis targetted parents who had open cases with Child Protective Services. Davis taught them nonsensical legal defenses and often showed off fraudulent legal documents with bloody thumbprints on social media. After serving his sentence, Davis still today claims to understand the true law of the country.
Terry Nichols And The Oklahoma City Bombing
While it may seem like the worst thing to come from the sovereign movement is frivolous court documents, unfortunately, there have been many fatal situations that have forced the FBI to label sovereigns as domestic terrorists. The worst crime related to a sovereign—and one of the worst in American history—began in April 1992 when a man wrote a letter to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources stating he was no longer a “citizen of the corrupt political corporate State of Michigan and the United States of America.” That man was Terry Nichols, a white supremacist and member of the “Patriot Movement.” He would later end up being an accomplice to Timothy McVeigh who killed 168 people when he bombed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Dating as far back as 1988, Nichols’ brother James Nichols had told an undercover FBI agent of plans to destroy a federal building with a “megabomb” in Oklahoma City. Both James and Nichols were white supremacists and sovereign citizens. He would often refer to his neighbors as “sheeple” while speaking with the undercover agent that visited the Nichols farm frequently. In 1992 he was placed in jail after refusing to pay child support and telling a judge he did not recognize the court’s authority. James would criticize the sheeple for using drivers’ licenses and Social Security cards. He routinely stamped U.S. currency with red ink in protest of the American government. James was detained concerning the bombing but never charged. He died in 2017.
Court records showed Nichols was sued several times in 1992 over credit card and other debts totaling almost $40,000. Nichols would often return bills from credit card companies with the words “dishonored with due cause” written across them. At one point Nichols tried to submit his own “certified fractional reverse check” and argued with attorneys that his credit was as worthy as the credit backing U.S. currency.
Both Nichols and McVeigh were fueled by the ending of the standoff in Waco, Texas in 1992 between the federal government and the “Davidians.” It was reported that McVeigh began to “weep” in Nichols’ living room as they watched the standoff. Both were convicted in federal court. McVeigh was given the death penalty and executed in 2001. Nichols almost received the death penalty but instead received life in prison.
Jerry and Joe Kane
On May 20, 2010, a routine traffic stop in Arkansas ended with the death of two officers after a father-son pair of sovereign citizens opened fire during the stop. Jerry Kane and his son Joe were later killed in a Walmart parking lot after a short-lived pursuit. The two had been traveling the country giving seminars where Kane would speak and teach anybody willing to listen. In a video of one of Kane’s seminars he instructs people to “look at the legal term, not the slang.” Kane was one of many that insist that the roots of legal language reveal a hidden meaning.
The weeks leading up to the deadly traffic stop had been trying for Kane. He and Joe had been traveling the country and conducting seminars for those financially struggling that promised to teach them tools to avoid foreclosure. Tickets to his seminar ranged from $100 to $300 “per man,” but Kane was known for allowing those who could not afford it to attend for free. Kane and Joe were on their way to Florida following a two-day seminar attended by only six people in Las Vegas. Before that, Kane had a seminar in Denver that nobody attended. In his last online radio show, he expressed his frustrations with the seminar circuit and announced he planned to cut his scheduled tour short after one last stop in Florida.
Along with the stress of his failing seminars, Kane was risking more than he was gaining just by driving across the country in his Plymouth Voyager. As a sovereign and a member of the larger antigovernment “Patriot” movement, Kane believed he was a freeman with the constitutional right to travel without restriction. He had no drivers’ license and his van was registered to a ministry in Ohio. Kane also had a brick of marijuana in the vehicle and several outstanding warrants for forgery and theft by deception. Just weeks before the shooting he was arrested in New Mexico for driving without a license and concealing his identity. Kane had prepped documents to file against the arresting officer and had vowed revenge against him and his family.
Kane and Joe were on their way to Florida to start a new life. He had met a woman named Donna Lee Wray-Kane at one of his foreclosure seminars three months prior. While driving on I-40, the father and son were stopped by West Memphis officers Brandon Paudert and Bill Evans near Mile Marker 275. During the stop, dashcam video shows Kane stood in front of the police SUV and argued with police while Joe remained in the vehicle. The argument got physical and Kane pushed Evans into a roadside ditch. That is when 16-year-old Joe hopped out of the vehicle armed with an AK-47 and opened fire. After killing Evans, Joe turned his attention to Paudert who was taking cover behind the police vehicle. Paudert was able to fire his service weapon several times but was simply outgunned by the teen. Joe chased Paudert around the vehicle and shot him in the back of the head several times. He then returned to Evans in the ditch and fired again before he and Kane got back into the vehicle and sped away.
Kane’s van was later spotted at a country club asking for directions to Walmart. Security tapes showed Joe entered the store to make a purchase. The van remained in the parking lot where it was spotted by an Arkansas wildlife officer who rammed their vehicle to keep them from leaving. A shootout erupted and two more officers were injured by the Kanes before they were killed. Crittenden County Sheriff Dick Busby was shot once in the shoulder and West Memphis chief of enforcement W.A. Wren was shot multiple times in the abdomen. Both officers survived the shootout. The Kanes were not the only father-son relationship in the shooting. West Memphis Police Chief Bob Paudert was the father of Paudert. Paudert was shot 11 times and died at the scene of the initial shooting. Evans was shot 14 times and died later at the hospital.
Donna Lee Wray-Kane Sues West Memphis Police
Surprisingly, Wray-Kane would later try to sue the West Memphis Police Department for the deaths of her husband and stepson. Wray-Kane filed the lawsuit in Florida District Court and claimed the deaths were “torture killings and civil rights violations.” She asked for $75,000 for each death to be paid in gold “at $38 per troy ounce.” Wray-Kane attempted to sue for three counts of “violations of due process,” “arbitrary arrest and detention,” and “torture killings.” Wray-Kane demonstrated her own belief in the sovereign movement by citing the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Convention Against Torture, and the UN’s charter. She also cited Article 1, section 8, clause 10 of the Constitution, which gives Congress the power to “define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations.”
Wray-Kane told Fox 13 that Kane and Joe did not kill anybody. Instead, she claimed “federal snipers” opened fire on the officers and the Kanes. She claimed, “we have reports from people who’ve seen video from Russia that shows that Jerry and Joe and the officers were fired upon by federal snipers.” Wray-Kane did not appear on camera but she did speak to Fox 13 through several phone calls as they sat in front of her house. She then called the police on them claiming they could not sit out front of her house. She also told officers she was armed. Officers told Wray-Kane they could legally sit out front but they warned Fox 13 it would probably be best to move for their safety.
2010 Police Shooting
Since the 2010 shooting involving Kane and his son, sovereigns have been responsible for the deaths of multiple officers. On August 16, 2012, in LaPlace, Louisiana, Terry Smith and his two sons, Brian and Derrick, and family friend Kyle Joekel were pulled over by Sheriff’s Deputy Michael Scott Boyington. Smith was driving and decided to not stop. As Boyington was pursuing the vehicle, someone inside the vehicle opened fire with an AK-47 and hit the deputy multiple times.
The suspects drove to a mobile home park, where deputies Brandon Nielsen, Jeremy Triche, and Jason Triche picked up the pursuit. Upon arriving, the officers found Joekel outside and detained him. The deputies were questioning two other men when a third suspect opened fire from the trailer door. Another suspect began firing and shot Smith’s wife who had thrown herself over an officer in an attempt to protect him.
Nielsen and Triche both died from their wounds. Jason was shot in the back but survived after spending months in a medically induced coma and receiving 29 surgeries. He had to receive a kidney transplant which was donated by St Tammany Parish Deputy Andre Ardeneau. Boyington also survived the shooting. Brian and Joekel were both wounded and charged with first-degree murder. Smith was charged with principal to attempted first-degree murder. Derrick—who was in the car during the initial shooting but not involved in the mobile home shootout—pleaded guilty to attempted first-degree murder and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Court documents showed Smith’s connection to the sovereign movement dated back to at least 2009 when he filed a complaint against St. John Deputy Nicholas Silvestri. Silvestri had pulled Smith over months before he filed the complaint and arrested him. Smith claimed he was detained and arrested without cause. Smith refused to provide a drivers’ license during the stop. In his complaint, Smith wrote, “I advised him that I was a sovereign citizen invoking my constitutional rights and that it appeared he was holding me against my will.”
Smith was taken to the parish jail where officers learned his license was suspended. He was ticketed for violating obedience to police officers and driving on a suspended license. A warrant was issued for Smith’s arrest after he failed to appear in court to prove he paid his $143 fine. A grand jury declined to file charge’s from Smith’s criminal complaint against Silvestri.
Christopher Boone Lacy
On September 4, 2012, California Highway Patrol Officer Kenyon Youngstrom was shot and killed by Christopher Boone Lacy during a traffic stop on Highway 680 near Alamo, California. Youngstrom stopped Lacy for having an obstructed license plate. Both Youngstrom and Lacy were shot and later pronounced dead at John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek.
Upon investigation, Lacy’s family members said he had become a loner and moved to Corning, California. Police found a suicide note that was believed to have been written during a mental breakdown while Lacy was attending college in 1997. He was then diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Six of his computers revealed a strong interest in the sovereign citizen movement and libertarianism. Lacy was also a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment.
Lacy had a wish list that included a “solar panel, water filter, sleeping bag, pond fence,” and a “bulletproof vest.” He had also visited a website about creating explosives. In 2006, Lacy was suspected of drunk driving on a motorcycle in Sausalito. During that incident, Lacy refused to speak to the officer and handed him a “Bill of Rights” card instead of a drivers’ license.
Jared And Amanda Miller
One of the more shocking sovereign attacks occurred on June 8, 2014, when Jerad Miller and his wife Amanda Miller decided to gun down two officers in a Cici’s Pizza in Las Vegas. The couple was known for spouting racist, anti-government views and bragging about their gun collection. On Facebook and YouTube, Miller openly ranted against the government. “We can prepare for peace. We must, however, prepare for war,” Miller wrote on Facebook just a week before the shooting. The couple also bragged about being at the Bundy standoff. They were asked to leave by the Bundys for being “too radical.”
The couple spent the morning of June 8 hunting for police officers to kill as they believed they were their oppressors. They were wearing adult diapers and armed with four handguns and a shotgun. Hours into their hunt, they spotted Las Vegas Metro Police Officers Igor Soldo and Alyn Beck having lunch at the pizza buffet restaurant. The couple walked inside and shot the two officers without warning. They then draped Nazi swastikas, a Gadsen flag and a note that read “this is the start of the revolution” over the two officers’ bodies.
The couple left the restaurant and entered a nearby Walmart. The two were pacing the aisles before killing a bystander who attempted to stop them. Once police arrived, the couple got in a shootout. Security footage shows the couple laying on the ground pointing guns at each other as law enforcement surrounded them. Amanda fires one shot at Miller, who goes limp. She then turns the gun on herself, ending the standoff.
Following the police shooting of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on July 5, 2017, tensions between the African-American community and police were at an all-time high. The shooting spawned heavy protests in the streets. As things were somewhat starting to come to a calm, 29-year-old Gavin Long was about to make things worse.
Long was a discharged Marine and a member of the Washitaw Nation, an African-American sovereign group that claims their ancestors were indigenous to America. The Washitaw claims the majority of the land sold in the Louisiana Purchase belongs to them. Despite there being no evidence to support the claim, the Washitaw demand the land is returned to them.
Long had rented the vehicle he was driving and left a suicide note inside it. He wrote that he needed to bring destruction “upon bad cops as well as good cops” due to the justice system’s failure to prosecute bad police officers. He followed events that dominated national news, such as the shooting of Sterling and the July 7 killing of five police officers in Dallas by Micah Xavier Johnson. Johnson was angered by the Sterling shooting and the police shooting of Philando Castile in Minnesota.
Online, Long went by the name Cosmo Setepenra. On July 10, Long posted a video saying he was in Dallas. Long talked about recent protests and officer-involved shootings. He encouraged victims to stop protesting and start fighting back with brute force.
On July 12, Long left for Baton Rouge. Police would later say they found alcohol and methamphetamine in his system. On July 17, armed with an IWI Tavor rifle, Long parked his car outside a beauty supply store and walked out with his rifle. He checked an unoccupied police car outside a nearby B-Quick convenience store. Long then returned to his car and drove away. A citizen went into the B-Quick and told Baton Rouge police officer Matthew Gerald, who was in the checkout line, there was a man outside with a rifle.
Baton Rouge sheriff’s deputy Brad Garafola was inside the store with Gerald. The two went outside to look for Long and called for backup. Officer Montrell Jackson responded as he was at a car wash next door. The three officers walked around the store looking for Long. Long drove back to the area and parked his vehicle then began walking towards the store. Long caught up with the officers and fatally shot Jackson and Gerald. He would also kill Garafola as he tried to get to Gerald to help him.
In total, Long fired 43 shots. Along with the three officers he killed, Long also injured officers Chad Montgomery and Bruce Simmons, and East Baton Rouge sheriff’s deputy Nick Tullier. Tullier was shot in the head and the abdomen and remained in a coma for four months before he was transferred to a rehabilitation facility located in Houston, Texas. SWAT officers arrived on the scene and managed to wound Long in the leg. While on the ground, Long tried to reach for his rifle, at which point five SWAT officers opened fire. Responding officers fired a total of 106 times, striking Long 45 times.
While the majority of sovereigns do not want or promote violence, the dangerous actions of some and distorted truths from the movement are what encouraged the FBI to take the groups seriously. Sovereigns are typically looking for one of three things, and easy relief for financial, criminal, or civil issues, which is what makes them easy targets for those selling sovereign ideologies. At the heart of almost any sovereign group, you will find a request for money.
Many of those that teach sovereign ideologies request money for their services. That can either come as a mandatory fee or as a donation request. That money is normally said to go towards their “work” with other people. It is not uncommon for those running a sovereign ideology scam to have fake testimonies claiming success from the nonsensical teachings. A sovereign’s argument or claims can normally be silenced by requesting legal documents or other evidence supporting their victories.
The Internet has opened a lot of doors for the sovereign movement and made it easy to share the basic principles. Sovereigns are becoming extremely common among QAnon and other online-based conspiracy groups. Conspiracy groups have amassed huge audiences across social media that can blast sovereign teachings to hundreds of thousands of people in a matter of minutes. As social media networks continue to grow, so will the sovereign movement.