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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Sovereign citizen group, "Divine Province", leader convicted of fraudulent documents

    I.C.E. News Release

    AUGUST 13, 2014

    Sovereign citizen group leader convicted of fraudulent document charges

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A 60-year-old Ohio man, and the self-proclaimed leader of a group known as "Divine Province," was convicted Wednesday by a federal jury of conspiracy, causing the impersonation of a diplomat and producing false identification documents. The conviction resulted from an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), with assistance from the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.

    A federal grand jury indicted James T. McBride, of Columbus, Ohio, May 14 of one count of conspiracy, one count of causing the impersonation of a diplomat and four counts of producing false identification documents.

    According to evidence at trial, McBride was the leader of a sovereign citizen group called "Divine Province," whose members claimed the U.S. government was a "municipal corporation" that did not have authority over them.

    McBride produced and distributed false diplomatic identification cards to his group's members, and he encouraged them to make claims of diplomatic immunity to avoid arrest, debts or taxes. None of the group's members were in fact accredited diplomats.

    McBride started selling the identification documents in September 2012 at a seminar he organized in Herndon. Afterwards, he sold the documents online and shipped them around the country. McBride sold the identification documents in pairs for approximately $200. One identified the holder as a "Universal Post Office Diplomat" and another purported to be an "International Diplomatic Driver Permit."

    The defendant also encouraged group members to send copies of the documents to governmental agencies to notify them about a member's status as a diplomat.

    The defendant claimed his authority to issue the documents came from the Vatican. The defendant also gave a televised interview on ABC News prior to the filing of charges in the case, in which he reiterated such claims. During the course of the charged conduct, the defendant's organization earned close to $500,000.

    McBride faces up to five years in prison for the conspiracy count, 10 years for causing the impersonation of a diplomat and five years for each count of producing a false identification document.

    U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is the largest investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security.

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  2. #2
    Sovereign citizen movement
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    The sovereign citizen movement is a loose grouping of American litigants, commentators, tax protesters and financial scheme promoters. Self-described sovereign citizens take the position that they are answerable only to their particular interpretation of the common law and are not subject to any statutes or proceedings at the federal, state, or municipal levels, or that they do not recognize U.S. currency and that they are "free of any legal constraints".[1][2][3] They especially reject most forms of taxation as illegitimate.[4] Participants in the movement argue this concept in opposition to "federal citizens" who, they say, have unknowingly forfeited their rights by accepting some aspect of federal law.[5]

    Many members of the sovereign citizen movement believe that the U.S. Government is illegitimate.[6] JJ MacNab, who writes for Forbes about anti-government extremism, describes the sovereign citizen movement as consisting of individuals who believe that the County Sheriff is the most powerful law enforcement officer in the country, with authority superior to that of any federal agent, elected official, or local law-enforcement.[7]

    The United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) classifies some sovereign citizens ("sovereign citizen extremists") as a domestic terrorist movement.[8] In 2010 the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) estimated that approximately 100,000 Americans were "hard-core sovereign believers" with another 200,000 "just starting out by testing sovereign techniques for resisting everything from speeding tickets to drug charges."[9]

    A 2014 report by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism stated that a survey of law enforcement officials and agencies across the United States concluded that this movement was the single greatest threat to their communities, now ranking above Islamic terrorists and jihadists.[10][11][12]

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