(LAS VEGAS, KXNT)–Two members of the Sovereign Citizens Movement–considered a domestic terrorist organization–have been arrested on charges they plotted to abduct and kill Las Vegas police officers.
42 year old David Allan Brutsche, who has a long criminal record, and 67 year old Devon Campbell Newman are charged with attempted murder, conspiracy, and other charges.
A police report says authorities have been conducting an undercover investigation since earlier this year, and arrests were made as the plot had moved into an operational stage.
Newman denied any involvement with the charges, telling interviewers from jail that she was not involved in any plan to kidnap police officers. “I’m upset because if this can happen to me, it can happen to anyone’, she said.
Bail was set Friday morning at $600,000 for Brutsche. Newman’s bail appearance was re-scheduled for Monday.
The sovereign citizens movement does not recognize government entities such as courts, documents, laws or regulations like drivers licenses and insurance. The Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups, tells KXNT that sovereign citizens members have been accused of killing at least four law officers in recent years.
Mark Pitcavich, a blogger for the Anti-Defamation League, which also monitors fringe groups, has posted an online report on Brutsche and Newman, noting that Brutsche proclaimed in filings last year that he was declaring himself a sovereign citizen and subsequently filed a report of a ‘fee schedule’ he would charge authorities if they were to accuse him of any violation or crime.
In an interview, Pitcavich tells KXNT he found no such filings by Newman, but noted many sovereign citizen movement members do not make such filings, especially newer members.
He also stated that Newman was once the public relations director for the Church of Scientology in Las Vegas.
KXNT’s Brian Shapiro has spoken Friday with Brutsche, the first reporter to conduct a jailhouse interview with the suspect. Comments from the interview will appear in subsequent updates in this story.