The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.
Militia, Assault-rifle Guru and Companion Face Murder, Assault Charges in House-Squatting Case in Washington State
A man with ties to militia organizations and nationwide assault rifle training program faces a murder charge in Washington state in a case that began with the attempted eviction of house squatters.
James J. “Strat” Faire, 55, and Angelina M. Nobilis, 51, were arrested late last week in Okanogan County after two people were struck and run over by a pickup truck while assisting a property owner evict squatters from his property, authorities said.
Debra Long, of Issaquah, Wash., was killed and George Abrantes, of Marysville, Wash., was seriously injured in the incident, the Okanogan County sheriff’s office reported. The ages of the victims weren’t released.
Faire and Nobilis were arrested on charges of first-degree murder and first-degree assault, jail booking records show.
Authorities say Faire and Nobilis are accused of moving into a home near Tonasket, Wash., owned by Richard Finegold and refusing to leave, resulting in an argument. At some point last Thursday, authorities say Faire is alleged to have pulled a firearm and jumped into a truck, striking the two victims.
Although it’s not known at this point if the pair are sovereign citizens, the practice of house squatting is a technique widely used by these antigovernment activists, who generally believe most laws and licensing requirements don’t apply to them.
A web site espousing the conservative views of the “ReaganWing” is racing to the defense of Faire and Nobilis.
The pro-gun, pro-Republican site claims Faire “is a nationally known, high-impact, open-carrying, Christian Liberty activist who has been in the crosshairs of the corrupt police-state factions of the Federal Government for years” because of his “stands for Liberty and … wide-ranging 2nd Amendment personal defense training he has spearheaded.”
Okanogan County Sheriff Frank Rogers did not immediately return a call seeking comment on the case.
Faire, Hatewatch has learned, served as an administrator for a militia web site and once operated what was described as a militia training site in Snohomish County, near the community of Monroe, in western Washington.
In 2010, Faire was identified as a trainer for the “Appleseed Project,” a militia-based training program that urged every citizen to own an AR-15 assault rifle with the goal of “teaching every American how to fire a bullet through a man-size target out to 500 yards.”
“The government has quite literally become tyrannical,” Faire told a writer for The New York Times who wrote a lengthy piece on the Appleseed Project.
Faire said the federal government “is fulfilling the principles outlined in ‘The Communist Manifesto. It’s completely out of control from city to state to federal to international law.”
“The only thing to do now is to organize citizens into a militia to abolish this government,” Faire told the Times.
It’s not clear when he moved from western Washington to a rural area near Tonasket, a community of about 1,000 people about 15 miles from the Canadian border.
The arrest of Faire is the second time in less than a month that a suspect with ties to militia groups or activities has been arrested and charged with murder in Eastern Washington.
Roy H. Murry, who had lived in Spokane and Lewiston, Idaho, was arrested in late May and charged with torturing and fatally shooting three people, including a Spokane Fire Department lieutenant, before setting fire to a home north of Spokane. Murry honed his shooting skills while practicing with members of the 63rd Light Foot Militia on Stevens County property in northeastern Washington owned by one-time Republican candidate for sheriff, Kenneth L. Barker, of Deer Lake, Wash.
Norman Walter Raddatz, the 42-year-old unemployed mechanic who fatally shot a Canadian hate crimes investigator this week, was not only an antigovernment “sovereign citizen,” but also a regular poster of anti-Semitic messages on the Internet.
For the past 18 months, the cop killer was involved in a “lengthy campaign of anti-Semitic hatred and violence” against a Jewish family in Edmonton, Alberta, bombarding them with escalating threats of violence, various media outlets reported today.
Raddatz also was homophobic, using Facebook accounts to call gay people “sodomites” alongside crude jokes about the film “Brokeback Mountain.”
He also spewed antigovernment venom and hated police, posting at one point: “They will have to drag me to court by force. I will not voluntarily enter a corrupt Admiralty court.”
Sovereign citizens — sometimes called “Freemen on the Land” in Canada — believe government and the court system have no control over them and they, therefore, don’t have to abide by licensing, zoning and other laws. Most sovereigns believe that they are only subject to “common law,” and that most courts today have replaced that with the law of the sea as part of a nefarious plot.
At one point, Raddatz was cited for illegally storing firewood, apparently fueling his antigovernment hatred as he went through a divorce and the financial collapse of his business, triggering foreclosure on his home and seizure of a motor home.
“This constant harassment by Edmonton bylaw ‘Officers,’” Raddatz said on a Facebook where he used the fictitious name “Dino Stomper.” “These people really only serve corporations by enforcing unlawful statute and generating revenue via fines. This is another ploy to unlawfully levy taxation by any means.”
All the while, he engaged in anti-Semitic Facebook postings with friends, using the term “f-bomb Jews” and blaming Jews “for everything from poor city snow removal to bad television programs.” ( continue to full post… )
A self-described “sovereign citizen” recently posted a video of his May arrest in Addison, Texas, by a local police officer, ostensibly to display police misbehavior as the policeman breaks out his car’s window and handcuffs him.
What the video actually seems to demonstrate instead, however, is how delusional the sovereign citizen worldview really is, and how police are ultimately driven to harsh measures in order to simply enforce traffic laws in ordinary encounters with these “true believers.”
The video shows the May 2 arrest of 49-year-old Scott Richardson after being pulled over for allegedly driving 50 mph in a 40 mph zone. Recorded by Richardson on his cell phone, it shows him arguing with the Addison officer for over four minutes before the policeman gets out his baton and breaks the driver’s side window and pulls the man from the car. At that point, the phone appears to fall onto a seat, recording the sounds of Richardson being put in handcuffs and the officer who made the arrest discussing the matter with a fellow officer.
During the course of the interchange, the officer requests the man show him his driver’s license and proof of insurance a total of 15 times before he gets out his baton, makes the same request a final time, and begins breaking the window.
Throughout the exchange, Richardson refuses the request, instead attempting to interrogate the officer.
“Mmkay, let me ask you a question,” Richardson says. “As a man, what right do you have to stop another man?” When the officer explains that the state of Texas gives him the authority, Richardson goes on to claim that speeding is not illegal in the state.
“I’m speeding? Did you realize that in the State of Texas, speeding in and of itself is not illegal?” he says.
Richardson also claims in the video that the 1979 U.S. Supreme Court case, Brown v. Texas, established that law enforcement officers are not allowed to demand a citizen’s identification unless he was seen committing a felony. Actually, the case established that officers needed probable cause to detain and ID a citizen, and speeding qualifies as such.
The officer again asks for his ID, and again warns Richardson that he is facing arrest for failure to identify himself. Instead, Richardson keeps trying to question the policeman.
“Mmkay, I’m still having to ask you a question here,” Richardson says.
“That’s not how this works,” the officer responds.
“That is how this works,” Richardson insists.
Eventually, the officer shouts at the man to demand he identify himself or he will break the window open, drawing his baton and raising it. When Richardson keeps babbling into his phone, the window is broken open, the officer opens the door, and the phone falls to the floor. You can then hear the officers telling the man to stay down and then applying handcuffs and telling him he is being charged with failure to identify.
After a few more minutes, the officer can be heard conversing with another policeman, explaining that the matter was just a simple traffic stop: “All he had to do was give me his driver’s license! He was giving me that Republic of Texas crap, saying I had stopped him illegally and I don’t have the right to detain him.”
“This was for speeding?” the other officer asks.
“Yeah, that’s all it was,” the officer says. “All it was.”
A little later, he muses: “I should have known when I saw the back window. All the stickers. All that stuff.”
Additional details are emerging about an unemployed man who was under investigation for hate crimes and refused to leave his foreclosed home when he fatally shot an Edmonton police officer Monday in that Canadian city.
While authorities stopped short of describing Norman Walter Raddatz as a sovereign citizen, he is being characterized by neighbors and friends as a loner, facing foreclosure and eviction from his home, after experiencing a divorce and financial collapse.
Raddatz had refused to move from his residence, despite a court-sanctioned foreclosure and eviction process, and he ignored police knocks at his door Monday evening. When they began a court-authorized forcible entry to arrest him, Raddatz began firing multiple rounds from a large caliber rifle, authorities said.
Edmonton Police Chief Rod Knecht said the two officers who were shot and backup officers who arrived didn’t return fire, while Raddatz fired more than 50 rounds from a large-bore rifle, the Edmonton Journal reported.
Neighbors told various media outlets that Raddatz refused to abide by local laws and bylaws, piling dog feces on a property line fence at one point. One neighbor described the shooter as a “deadbeat” and another called him a “terrible neighbor.”
Raddatz, a 42-year-old unemployed refrigeration mechanic, “had an extensive hate crimes file related to online bullying of a family” in Edmonton, the CBC reported.
Constable Daniel Woodall, 35, of the Edmonton Police Services’ hate crimes unit, died from multiple gunshots wounds as he attempted to enter the suspect’s residence, authorities said. A second officer, Sgt. Jason Harley, 38, was wounded, but is expected to recover. Both officers were wearing vests.
Many of the rounds were fired through doors and walls. A body, believed to be that of Raddatz, was found in the charred basement of the house which he apparently set on fire after shooting at the police officers.
Raddatz was known to police but didn’t have an extensive criminal record, the police chief told reporters.
The online hatred and bullying by Raddatz of the publicly unidentified Edmonton family “had become extreme and the family members were increasingly worried about their personal safety,” the police chief told the Edmonton newspaper.
One police officer was killed and a second wounded in a fiery standoff when officers tried to serve a criminal warrant at the Edmonton, Alberta, home of a man believed to be an antigovernment “sovereign citizen.”
After the Monday shooting, the home burst into flames and burned to the ground, apparently with the suspect, Norman Walter Raddatz, 42, still inside. Police found one body in the burned ruins.
Constable Daniel Woodall, 35, of the Edmonton Police Services’ hate crime unit, died at the scene from multiple gunshots wounds during a gunfight with the suspect, Police Chief Rod Knecht told reporters early Tuesday.
The second officer, who was wounded in the lower back, was patrol Sgt. Jason Harley, 38, a 15-year member of the EPS, the National Post reported. The police chief said Harley survived because of a bulletproof vest.
The two officers went to the residence in an apparent attempt to arrest Raddatz, whose age was not immediately available, on a criminal harassment warrant. Knecht said shots were fired from inside the home as the officers attempted to enter the residence.
The arrest warrant naming Raddatz stemmed from an investigation of “extreme” online hatred and bullying of an Edmonton family, but other details weren’t immediately available, according to media reports.
The home where the shooting occurred is in foreclosure, so the owner faced eviction, according to news reports. Real estate advertisements say the residence was occupied but with “no access” and being sold as-is.
The police chief didn’t elaborate when asked about the shooting suspect’s ties to the sovereign citizen movement, sometimes called “Freeman on the Land” in Canada. Knecht promised additional details at a later briefing.
Woodall, who joined the Edmonton police after immigrating from Great Britain, was married and the father of two children. He is the first Edmonton Police Service officer killed in the line of duty in Edmonton in 25 years, according to various media outlets. The last officer was Ezio Faraone, fatally shot while chasing bank robbery suspects
In the last 15 years, sovereign citizen extremists have killed seven law enforcement officers in the United States. Several other police officers have been injured in standoffs involving sovereign citizens, who generally believe that government has no control over them. On occasion, the antigovernment extremists file seemingly harmless paperwork and court documents, but their encounters with police and government officials can escalate into deadly violence very quickly.
The FBI has labeled the sovereign citizen movement a domestic terrorism threat in the United States.
In 2010, two West Memphis, Ark., police officers were fatally shot when they stopped sovereign citizen extremists Jerry Kane and his 16-year-old son Joseph. During the “routine traffic stop,” the teenager jumped out of his father’s vehicle with an AK-47 assault rifle, fatally shooting both officers.
An Oregon pastor and his wife — tax protesters who appear to have morphed into antigovernment “sovereign citizens” — are now federal fugitives after refusing to appear for sentencing last week in Eugene, Ore., following their convictions for income tax evasion.
Ronald D. Joling, 71, and his wife, Dorothea, 72, of Coquille, Ore., “have engaged in a shameless scheme to defraud the United States and to evade payment of $1.2 million in federal taxes since 1992,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott E. Bradford said in court filings.
As a deterrent to such antigovernment tax protesters, the prosecutor recommended that the 71-year-old pastor of the conservative Hope Covenant Reformed Church in Coquille be sentenced to 121 months in prison, with 60 months recommended for Dorothea Joling.
Prosecutors have seized multiple rental properties and land owned by the couple and have asked the federal court to order the Jolings to pay $1.2 million in restitution to the U.S. government.
But Assistant Federal Defender Mark Bennett Weintraub said such a sentence was excessive, claiming it “is unreasonable to believe” that antigovernment activists like the Jolings will be “deterred or dissuaded b y the federal government’s exercise of its immense power.” ( continue to full post… )
An arson charge is pending against a 33-year-old antigovernment “sovereign citizen” accused of starting a fire outside a home occupied by his relatives last weekend in suburban Phoenix.
Court records show Ismael Roman Mota’s antigovernment “sovereign citizen” views likely go back to 2007, when he was arrested in Maricopa County on a charge of failure to register as a sex offender. Mota was arrested again on Saturday when his young niece called to report that her uncle was trying to start a fire to burn down the residence.
When police and fire crews arrived, one side of the house was “engulfed in flames and several people were attempting to put out the fire with garden hoses,” KPHO-TV in Phoenix reported. No one was injured in the fire.
Police have said neighbors saw Mota start the fire and yelled at him to put it out. Mota responded that he didn’t care because the house belonged to him before fleeing the scene. He was arrested when he returned several hours later.
Firefighters determined the fire was started in a large bucket containing charcoal and gasoline, ignited about a foot from the house before spreading to the exterior wall of the residence.
Mota, who self-identified as a sovereign citizen, refused to acknowledge that officers had read him his Miranda rights, and he refused to cooperate with routine fingerprint and mug shot processes during the jail booking, police said.
Court records show Mota, who was arrested in 2000 on a felony charge of sexual (contact) with a minor, has used various combinations of his first, middle and last names, sometimes spelling his middle name as Ramon – all of which are common practices for sovereign citizens, who believe they are the sole arbiters of the law.
In 2007, when he was arrested in Maricopa County for failing to register as a sex offender, Mota submitted an affidavit to the court that resembles sometimes nonsensical, paper terrorism submitted to the judicial system by sovereign citizens. He said he was filing the paperwork as a “full recanting of any and all statements and pleas made by ‘Ismail Roman Mota.’”
That name, he contended, “is a fictitious entity and my real name is Ismael Mota Roman. Both names are prohibited for use in any type of communication whatsoever,” he told the court.
Mota also has displayed sovereign citizen views by refusing to comply with motor vehicle and driver’s licensing laws, court records show. He has been involved in 31 traffic court cases since 1999.
A man who spent 26 years wearing a badge and enforcing the law in Florida now thinks he’s above the law as a self-described “natural, free-born sovereign citizen.”
James Michael Sims, 56, was arrested late last month and will be arraigned on Feb. 27 in Manatee County Circuit Court on three felony charges: two counts of grand theft and a third count of intimidating a public official.
Sims, a former deputy and detective for the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, allegedly rented foreclosed properties, intimidated his former fellow law enforcement officials and attempted to file $100 million in bogus liens against judges — a common act among many sovereigns who believe they are immune from courts, judges and licensing requirements.
The judges who Sims targeted with liens previously had entered foreclosure orders on several homes he owned so banks could initiate legal actions to claim their full ownership when he failed to make timely payments.
Court documents say even though a bank had recovered ownership of one home and changed the locks, the locks and realty signs were removed and Sims continued renting the property, fraudulently collecting monthly payments.
Sims’ actions “forced the bank” to take its foreclosed property off the sale market because its officials “feel the situation is way too dangerous for realtors and the public to go view the property,” court document say. Meanwhile, the bank is losing money by not having the property on the market.
Sims worked as a commissioned officer for the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office from 1985 until 2011, the Bradenton Herald reported. The following year, court documents say, Sims filed an affidavit with the county clerk “where he made it known that he [now] was a natural free-born Sovereign individual.’’
Dave Bristow and Randy Warren, public information officers for the sheriff’s office, did not immediately return phone calls for comment.
Court documents say when questioned by Detective Mark Franczyk of the Manatee Sheriff’s Office, Sims told the investigator “he was wrong” and that if charges were pursued Sims “was going to probably come after everybody.” The sheriff’s office subsequently received a “packet” of legal claims from Sims.
A judge in Alabama—tired of the blather and repeated interruptions from a man police say is an antigovernment “sovereign citizen”—found an answer to silence courtroom outbursts from the antigovernment activist: threatening to tape the man’s mouth closed.
Calhoun County Circuit Judge Bud Turner suggested using tape to silence outbursts last week from Everett Leon Stout, 73, but ultimately decided it would be better judicial decorum to have the defendant removed from the courtroom and returned to jail.
Stout was in court on Jan. 28 with his common-law wife, Miriam Claire Shultz, 69, both of Oxford, Ala., for an arraignment. They were arrested in December on multiple felony charges, including filing fraudulent liens and attempting to extort $1.6 million from various businesses, including the purchase of a $300,000 recreational vehicle with a worthless sovereign citizen check. All are common crimes of sovereign citizens who believe laws, licensing requirements, taxation and most rules don’t apply to them.
Stout, shackled and wearing an orange-and-white-striped jail uniform, told the court that he wanted to be his own lawyer and refused to waive the reading of 15 charges against him, the Anniston Star reported.
“I do not accept the appointment of counsel,” Stout said, later asking the judge to read the definition of extortion. Stout said that laws didn’t apply to him before later interrupting the court, demanding to be the legal representative for his wife.
“If he says anything else, get some masking tape and put it on his mouth,” the frustrated judge told a bailiff, the newspaper reported.
“Go ahead and put it on me, if that’s what you want to do,” Stout responded. At that point the judge Turner directed bailiffs to remove Stout from the courtroom.
Funeral services were held today in Tallahassee, Fla., for a 47-year-old sheriff’s deputy who was fatally shot Saturday by a man with antigovernment views who started his house on fire, setting a trap for first responders.
Leon County Deputy Chris Smith, a married father of two, was ambushed and shot with a 40-caliber handgun moments after arriving at the burning home of Curtis Wade Holley, 53, in the Plantation Woods neighborhood just northwest of Tallahassee, authorities say.
Another deputy, Colin Wulfekuhl, was struck in the back by a bullet, but was saved from serious injury by a vest during the 12-minute mid-day gun battle that left Holley dead outside his burning home, the Tallahassee Democrat reported.
Two Tallahassee police officers, Scott Angulo and Mark Lewis, arrived as backup four minutes after the shooting began. Angulo fatally shot Holley in the ensuring gun battle, according to various media accounts.
“We have information that we have received that this person was anti-government, was anti-establishment and had discussed at some point in time planning to harm law enforcement,” Lt. James McQuaig, a spokesman for the Leon County Sheriff’s Office, told the newspaper.
McQuaig and other sheriff’s officials, apparently attending the funeral for their slain comrade, didn’t immediately return calls today from Hatewatch seeking clarification of Holley’s “antigovernment views.”
At an earlier press briefing, the sheriff’s office spokesman said Holley “planned his attack to kill as many first responders as possible,” the newspaper reported.
After starting a fire in the home where he’d lived for a year, Holley waited for it to become fully engulfed before going to his next door neighbor’s house and asking her to call 911.
“It was a 100 percent ambush,” McQuaig said at the press conference after the shooting. “This guy had a plan and he put this plan into action.”
Dispatchers gave first responders the neighbor’s name and address and not Holley’s name from a computer data base which presumably had a temperament warning because of his antigovernment activities.
Deputy Wulfekuhl kept the gunman engaged while warning firefighters who arrived to stay back and evacuate. Multiple engines were called to the scene of the fire.
“It is extremely important to recognize that Colin Wulfekuhl probably saved the life of every firefighter that was there initially responding,” McQuaig said.
A reporter for the Tallahassee newspaper told Hatewatch that authorities investigating the shooting were being tight-lipped about Holley’s background, but did say he had a history of “antigovernment” activity.
Public records show that Holley had minor criminal records in Florida, Texas and North Carolina, including driving without a license and failure to have auto insurance.
Bill Warner, who owns a private detective agency in Sarasota, Fla., told Hatewatch that he has researched Holley’s background and is convinced from his research that Holley was a “sovereign citizen” who put his antigovernment views into action.