Sovereign Citizen Movement growing, becoming more violent

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

PHOENIX -- A foiled plot to kidnap and kill police officers is shedding light on a disturbing movement, one with a growing number of believers in Arizona.

Las Vegas couple David Allan Brutsche and Devon Campbell Newman are part of the Sovereign Citizen Movement, and were recently apprehended for allegedly plotting to kill at least one Nevada police officer.

As members of the Sovereign Citizen Movement, Brutsche and Newman believe that the government has been infiltrated by a conspiracy and changed into a tyrannical government.

The Anti-Defamation League worries that followers of the Sovereign Citizen Movement are growing, and becoming increasingly violent.

In Louisiana last year, a shootout linked to a Sovereign Citizen Movement group left two deputies dead and two others injured.

We’ve seen it in Arizona as well, specifically with murder suspect Michael Crane.

Crane is facing trial for three killings in 2012, and the Anti-Defamation League says his behavior in court is consistent with the Sovereign Citizen Movement.

When asked for his name in court, Crane spells it using upper and lower case letters. Members of the Sovereign Citizen Movement believe that if their name is spelled with only upper case letters that it does not refer to their “flesh and blood” person.

Crane has also tried to represent himself in court, which is common for followers of the Sovereign Citizen Movement.

Brutsche made similar comments in a Nevada courtroom this week when he said he objected to all court proceedings and wanted to be released.

The judge denied his motion, noting Brutsche’s previous convictions for child molestation and indecent exposure.

Police have said that Brutsche and Newman held Sovereign Citizen Movement training sessions, shopped for guns, and found a vacant house and rigged it so they could tie cops to wooden beams and interrogate them.

They also allegedly recorded videos to explain why police officers had to die.

Fortunately, no one was hurt.

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Vegas case seen to show 'sovereign citizen' threat

Judge denies accused killer Michael Crane's request to represent himself