Ed and Elaine Brown Face Weapons, Conspiracy, Six New Charges... Arrested for Violating a Law That Does Not Exsist!

Submitted by SadInAmerica on Sun, 02/22/2009 - 12:54pm.

Sixteen months after their armed standoff with federal officials ended in a peaceful, undercover arrest, Ed and Elaine Brown were back in New Hampshire yesterday to face weapons and conspiracy charges for their activities. (Ed and Elaine Brown are being 'used' as an example for the rest of us 'common' folks!  See related tax evader articles... ~ SadInAmerica)

If found guilty, the couple could receive what amount to life sentences. Just one charge, for possession of destructive devices, carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 30 years in prison.

The Browns, who were convicted of tax-related felonies in January 2007, fled authorities and holed up in their fortified and well-provisioned Plainfield home for nearly nine months. They entertained guests, accumulated weapons, spoke with news reporters and threatened violence against any agent who tried to arrest them.

An 11-count indictment unsealed yesterday accuses the Browns of conspiring with supporters to interfere with arrest attempts and stockpile weapons and homemade bombs. The indictment describes pipe bombs, exploding rifle targets, improvised booby trap guns and cans of gunpowder wrapped with nails. In testimony during the trial of several supporters last year, federal agents described finding Ed Brown's fingerprints on several of the devices, which were scattered strategically around the house near detonation cords, matches and high-powered rifles.

Throughout their tax trial and the standoff, the Browns challenged the authority of the federal government, saying repeatedly that no law required them to pay taxes and that they were not subject to federal jurisdiction.

During their separate arraignments in Concord yesterday, the couple maintained their positions. Though they were not allowed to speak to each other before the hearings, they both rejected appointed counsel, refused to offer pleas and expressed their view that the indictment was invalid.

"I am not the person on this indictment," Elaine Brown, 68, told federal Magistrate Judge James Muirhead yesterday. "I do not plan on taking part in any proceeding on it whatsoever."

Elaine Brown, who appeared in a green prison uniform and slip-on sneakers, looked transformed by her incarceration. Her previously coifed brown hair was gray and cut short. She wore no makeup, and she appeared to have lost weight. In letters to supporters posted online, she has complained about the prison food.

After Elaine Brown entered the courtroom, she began writing on papers at the defense table. Muirhead later read the papers and described them as an offer of a promissory bond of $1 billion and a "private offset bond" of $2 billion "so she and her husband can go free." Muirhead said he could not accept them.

Though she was seated next to Bjorn Lange, a federal public defender who assisted her in the final two days of her tax trial, Elaine Brown told Muirhead that she did not wish to have a lawyer. Lange, who avoided calling her by name, agreed to serve as her standby counsel and recommended that Muirhead enter a plea of not guilty on her behalf.

"I'm satisfied that the woman beside me has sufficiently understood," he told Muirhead near the end of the hearing.

'A higher law'

Ed Brown, 66, similarly rejected the court's authority, refusing to agree that he understood the constitutional rights that Muirhead described. He rejected the assistance of Michael Iacopino, a Manchester attorney who was appointed to assist him, though he said that he would accept a "council" of legal advisers.

"It's not the type of law that we operate under," Ed Brown said. "It's a higher law."

Ed Brown appeared in court in leg shackles, wearing a neon orange Strafford County jail uniform with his familiar gray mustache and glasses. For most of the hearing, he sat with his hands clasped in his lap, raising his eyebrows, scrunching his face and shrugging as Muirhead asked him questions. Like his wife, he unsuccessfully suggested a bond in exchange for their freedom, but Ed Brown offered more: $5 billion.

In support of his theory that the court was acting outside of constitutional bounds, Ed Brown pointed to the courtroom's U.S. flag, which was decorated with yellow fringe.

"There's a military flag right there that you're operating under. That's not constitutional law," he said.

Ed Brown told Muirhead that he's spent most of the past 15 months isolated in a segregated housing unit. In letters to supporters, Brown has indicated that he lost his prison telephone privileges after a couple of rule violations. He said yesterday that he did not know the purpose of his trip to New Hampshire until the hearing.

"I thought today was a hearing to release us," he said. "Instead, it's 180 degrees in the other direction."

Muirhead told Ed Brown that U.S. marshals had approved a short reunion for the couple after the hearing. U.S. Marshal Stephen Monier said afterward that the meeting would be brief and in the courthouse cell block. Monier confirmed that the Browns had not seen each other since their arrest in October 2007.

Full house

During both arraignments, the small courtroom was filled with federal employees from the U.S. attorney's office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives as well as nearly a dozen U.S. marshals. Because of limited public seating, many agents were asked to sit in the court's jury box to watch the hearings.

The Browns' trial, now scheduled for April 13, will be overseen by Judge George Singal of the U.S. District Court in Maine. Because of repeated threats of violence against Judge Steven McAuliffe, who oversaw the couple's tax trial, all the judges in the New Hampshire federal court recused themselves.

The U.S. attorney's office for the district of New Hampshire felt no such obligation, said U.S. Attorney Tom Colantuono, despite similar threats against him and his deputies.

"If you allow a defendant to make a threat to get a prosecutor recused, every person would make a threat," he said.

The Browns are serving 63-month sentences for their tax crimes and were incarcerated in federal prisons at the time of their indictment, Jan. 21. But prosecutors asked the judge to place the case under seal, and the charges only became public yesterday. Colantuono said that the seal was requested to protect the security of the couple's transportation to New Hampshire.

Throughout the standoff, the couple drew on grassroots support from people who shared their stance against the income tax, admired their resistance to federal authority and embraced their threats of violence. A few militia groups offered their support and assistance to Ed Brown, a former militia leader.

Dozens of supporters made trips to the Browns' concrete, castle-like home, bringing food, tactical supplies, disposable cell phones and weapons. They also shared information about the case over a network of dedicated weblogs, MySpace groups and online radio shows, where they echoed many of the couple's threats against federal agents. Four of the couple's most prominent supporters were arrested last year and convicted of conspiring to aid and arm the couple.

Jason Gerhard, Cirino Gonzalez and Daniel Riley were all found guilty of federal felonies after a trial and were sentenced to 20, eight and 36 years in prison. Robert Wolffe, who pleaded guilty to similar crimes and testified at their trial, was sentenced to 30 months.

New charges

The indictment described six new charges for Elaine Brown and seven for Ed Brown. They are conspiracy to prevent officers of the United States from discharging their duties, conspiracy to commit offenses against the United States, carrying and possessing a firearm in connection with a crime of violence, felon in possession of a firearm, obstruction of justice and failure to appear for sentencing. Ed Brown is also charged with failure to appear for trial.

Many of the allegations described in the indictment emerged during the supporters' trial last year. But the indictment also includes some new information.

The couple were arrested Oct. 4, 2007, by a small team of undercover deputy marshals disguised as supporters. According to statements by both Ed and Elaine Brown, that group was led by a man whom they knew as "Dutch."

According to the indictment, Ed Brown pointed an assault rifle at an undercover deputy marshal and Elaine Brown held an assault rifle in the presence of undercover agents. Elaine Brown also carried a Glock .40-caliber handgun on the day of her arrest, while Ed Brown carried the Colt .45-caliber revolver that he kept in his pants waistband throughout the standoff. The indictment suggests that the serial number of Ed Brown's gun had been removed.

The indictment also repeats some of the threats the Browns issued against law enforcement officers.

"The only way we're coming out of our home is either as a free man and a free woman or in body bags," Elaine Brown said in a radio interview quoted in the indictment.

"The Chief should know along with the US Marshals along with the local County Sheriff, especially the County Sheriff, local police and local state police, if they come in here to do us in, they kill my wife, myself or both or try to arrest us, I said the Chief of Police in this town, the Sheriff, the Sheriff himself will die, this is war now folks," Ed Brown said in another radio interview quoted in the indictment. "They fired the first shots."

Margot Sanger-Katz - February 20, 2009 - source ConcordMonitor


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The Billionaires Ought to Be Paying THEIR Taxes!

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Submitted by SadInAmerica on Sun, 02/22/2009 - 12:54pm.