‘Sovereign Citizens’ Arrested for Terror Plot

The Las Vegas police department has arrested two men for allegedly plotting to kidnap police officers, put them on trial before one of those citizens juries that Larry Klayman likes so much, and then kill them after they’re “convicted” of whatever bizarre things they’d charge them with.

David Allen Brutsche and Devon Campbell Newman were arrested at an apartment a few miles off the Vegas Strip before they could carry out a plan to snatch officers, “put them on trial” and execute them in a vacant house, Las Vegas police Lt. James Seebock said.

Federal authorities regard sovereign citizen extremists as domestic terrorists. Authorities have linked sovereign citizens groups with violent confrontations in recent years, including deadly shootings in Louisiana and Arkansas…

The investigation began when an unidentified undercover officer befriended Brutsche and Newman in April, police said.

The three participated in meetings and training sessions about sovereign citizen philosophy and later shopped for guns and discussed plans to track and videotape police officers to determine whom to abduct, according to a 10-page arrest report.

They found a vacant house and rigged it with bolts drilled into wall supports, creating a makeshift jail where they planned to bind captive officers to cross beams for interrogation, police said…

“We need to arrest the police and take them to our jail and put them in a cell and put them on trial in a people’s court,” Brutsche said on July 9, according to the arrest report. “If we run into the position that they resist, then we need to kill them.”

This whole “sovereign citizen” movement is really quite dangerous, like the Hutaree militia here in Michigan, who were so extreme that the leaders of other militias thought they were too far out there and reported them to the FBI.

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  • You missed the most salacious part: Devon Campbell Newman was the director of the Scientology Celebrity Center until recently. http://gawker.com/scientology-flack-arrested-in-plot-to-kill-cop-1188941437

  • David Marjanović


    “Let’s just plot murder and pretend we’re not under the jurisdiction of the country we’re in.”

    What, if anything, were they thinking?

  • Ace: Thanks for catching the $cientology angle here. This makes the whole thing even more interesting.

  • “Let’s just plot murder and pretend we’re not under the jurisdiction of the country we’re in.”

    It’s worked for the last 2 administrations.

  • Wes

    During a tour of gun stores the next day, Brutsche said that what they were planning was going to be big, “and that they would really get a large following once they started because of the publicity,” the report said.

    Despite all the “sovereign citizens” fancy talk and overwrought ideology, I’d wager that the narcissism in the quote above is what really motivates these assholes. They’re like Timothy McVeigh, living in a fantasy world where they’ve cast themselves as the big hero. It’s just pathetic people living pathetic lives making up a big lie to make themselves feel important.

  • “…carry out a plan to snatch officers, “put them on trial” and execute them in a vacant house”

    Do not worry, the president of the Sovereign citizens reviewed each case and determined that these cops were an “imminent” threat. So they got due process!

  • garnetstar

    Devon is a woman.

  • Alverant


    Yep, they see a Mad Max movie and think they’re the cool dude on the motorcycle when they’re really one of the skulls by the side of the road.

  • From the Gawker article: “We’ve received more information about Devon Newman’s Scientology career from a source we are not naming. Here’s what our source sent us…” [followed by first person testimony]

    I wonder if all the hyperskeptics are going to be on to Gawker for tarnishing Newman’s reputation with anonymous!!!eleventy! allegations (or manufacturing the existence of the source for blog hits).

  • KKKrazeefucks do KKKrazzeeshit; not news.


    Which “hyperskeptics” are you speaking about?

  • Chiroptera

    Federal authorities regard sovereign citizen extremists as domestic terrorists.

    That can’t be right. Those names don’t sound Muslim.

  • jaybee

    @10: I’m sure this is a reference to people who dismiss claims by women who have been harassed or even raped but can’t prove it with video evidence and a signed confession from the perpetrator. Recently there was a flare up of a couple men in the skeptic community who were called out as being sexual predators and a contingent of people came to the defense of the accused on the basis of being good skeptics: they can’t believe what 7 women have claimed about one guy being a pig because they themselves haven’t experienced it themselves.

  • Remember a few years ago when Homeland Security or some such group put out a missive about right-wing domestic terrorism, and how conservatives collectively howled in outrage about what a witch-hunt it was, since no one on their side of the political spectrum could ever be suspected of such things? Yeah, didn’t think so.

  • uzza

    “The investigation began when an unidentified undercover officer befriended”. them, and then later they went off on some terror plot

    Doesn’t this set off any red flags for anyone?

  • exdrone

    Activist citizens juries!

  • dingojack

    Ibis3 (#9)- Once upon a time there was a source known only as ‘curveball’, he claimed [insert first person testimony here] ….

    And we all know how that little fairy-tale ended.



    And before you howl about defending this Devon Newman person – it’s not about him it’s about single, unnamed sources and how much creditability we should lend them. You know, scepticism.

  • Dave, ex-Kwisatz Haderach

    garnetstar is right, Devon Campbell Newman is a woman, some articles refer to Devon and David as a couple.

  • Stevarious, Public Health Problem

    “…carry out a plan to snatch officers, “put them on trial” and execute them in a vacant house”

    Man, nothing screams ‘fair trial’ to me like having the execution plans already in place first.

  • Pierce R. Butler

    Marcus Ranum @ # 4 – It didn’t start with Shrub.