The sovereign citizens movement is a group of radical libertarians who believe they have the right to live outside any government control whatsoever.
There are a number of videos on YouTube showing sovereign citizens being tazed while failing to agree with traffic stops or refusing to follow orders in courtrooms and similar situations.
Sovereign citizens haven’t been in the news much; the narrative has been mainly focused on white supremacy and the cratering state of the economy, but a recent raid in California found some very surprising things.
Deputies Arrest Sovereign Citizens Near Joshua Tree National Park
While doing regular patrols around Joshua Tree Park near San Bernardino, officers came across a vehicle that was breaking the law in how darkly tinted its windows were.
They pulled over the vehicle and discovered it was full of live ammo, explosives, and other tactical equipment. A search determined neither man in the vehicle was legally allowed to possess firearms.
Two males in the vehicle named David Russell and Jeffrey Russell were arrested, as was a woman living back at their home by the name of Venus Mooney.
Officers found more weapons and explosive devices back at the home. The Russells told police they are sovereign citizens and do not have to comply with federal regulations.
San Bernardino: “Inside the car were David Russell, 50, and Jeffery Russell, 46, who identified themselves as sovereign citizens.”
— Brooke Binkowski (@brooklynmarie) June 20, 2022
What Do Sovereign Citizens Believe?
Sovereign citizens believe US law is an unjust imposition of force on themselves as free men of the land. It’s unclear what exactly led either of these men to be allowed their 2A rights, but it sounds like they had trouble with the law before.
Details on the woman are not available at this time, but having more explosives back at the home is definitely another worrying detail of this story.
The thing with sovereign citizens is they often start believing in very complex conspiracies about various types of law and legal reasoning. Then, they become very frustrated and angry when the government simply says it doesn’t care.
They believe their principles override everything; when this clashes with reality, violence can result.
Even those who admire some of the ideas of the sovereign citizen movement would have to admit arrests like this give these types their dangerous reputations.
A traffic stop in a remote area near Yucca Valley turned up military-grade explosives, weapons, and ammunition at a "sovereign citizen compound" in Johnson Valley, authorities said. https://t.co/e3A0rX45tb
— CBS Los Angeles (@CBSLA) June 20, 2022
The Bottom Line
We will follow this case as it develops.
At this time, it appears the men were already on the outskirts of the law and had prior run-ins. The details of the woman will also be interesting to hear about and how much she knew about or aided these men.
With the amount of weaponry and explosives these individuals had, it’s possible they were planning some kind of act of violence; although police haven’t issued any statement to that effect as of yet.