Is the Las Vegas Sovereign Citizen case falling apart?
When David Allen Brutsche, 42, and Devon Campbell Newman, 67, were arrested on Aug. 20, they faced numerous charges relating to what authorities called a “domestic terror operation”.
Undercover officers spent four months getting close to Brutsche, a convicted sex offender with a lengthy criminal record, and Newman, the Director of Public Relations at the Church of Scientology & Celebrity Centre in Las Vegas.
More information about Newman can be found at The Underground Bunker website.
The crux of the sovereign citizen beliefs is that they are non-citizens and that the government has no authority.
They do not believe in any form of taxation, and believe that they only have to answer to common law.
The Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Ala., reported that in 2010 there were approximately 300,000 supporters, with 100,00 being classified as hard-core believers.
In most cases, they use paper instead of weaponry to make their point, clogging up the court system with thousands of filings, however violence has been increasingly used, particularly when a sovereign is feeling threatened, frustrated or desperate.
Since 2003, the killing of seven lawman has been attributed to sovereign citizens.
Some of the beliefs may sound harmless enough, however, undercover agents investigating Brutsche and Newman uncovered a bizarre plot in which they intended to kidnap a random police officer, try him in a makeshift court and then execute him.
Brutsche and Newman reportedly even had a place for the execution to take place at.
The arrest report says that Brutsche and Newman met with uncover officers approximately 30 times and both expressed “a deep-seated hatred of law enforcement”.
Both parties appeared to be very vested in the beliefs with Brutsche stating numerous times, according to the report, that he would have no problem killing an officer.
Prior to his arrest, as reported by the Las Vegas Sun, Brutsche told an undercover officer,
Blood or no blood — it doesn’t matter. I will kill anyone that tries to stop the cause of liberty. I have no qualms about it.
After they were arrested, Brutsche’s bail was set at $600,000 and Newman’s bail was set at $200,000, reflecting the seriousness of the charges and risk that they allegedly posed.
Some of the more serious charges have been dropped and bail has been substantially reduced for the pair.
With Brutsche’s bail now set at $200,000 and Newman’s bail reduced to $50,000, perhaps the Las Vegas Sovereign case is not as strong as it was originally believed to be.
Their next court date is scheduled for Mar. 3.