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FIRST ON 3 SPECIAL REPORT: Sovereign citizens a challenge to law


BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- Imagine a world where laws don't apply to you, and you're not responsible for any taxes. So-called sovereign citizens live like that.

It's a catch-all phrase referring to people who are anti-government. Their actions have ranged from false court filings to disregarding laws to murder.

Brunswick County Sheriff's deputies ran into one during a high-speed chase recently.

"The FBI categorizes sovereign citizens as domestic terrorists," Brunswick County Sheriff's Office Capt. Mose Highsmith said.

Highsmith says at first glance, there's nothing illegal about being a sovereign citizen.

"Where things start to become illegal is that because of following that dogma, if you will, some of these people believe they don't have to have a driver's license, they don't have to pay for insurance, they don't have to have a license plate, they don't have to comply with law direction from law enforcement officers."

Case in point, a high-speed chase in Supply two months ago, where a woman refused to stop for deputies unless the count was prepared to pay her. Dep. Joe Cherry arrested Jeniffer-Melisa Herring that night.

"You do have to use the utmost caution, because you don't know what the person is willing to do, because they don't recognize you as an authority figure," Dep. Cherry said. "They do tend to recognize sheriffs over police officers for some odd reason. Sovereign citizen is a reemerging trend."

In the most extreme cases, sovereign citizens can be destructive and even deadly.

Timothy McVeigh, the man behind the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, was a sovereign citizen. His actions killed 168 people, including 19 children, and injured more than 680.

In 2010, a traffic stop in Arkansas turned into a deadly shootout between police and two sovereign citizens. Father-son duo Jerry and Joseph Kane killed two officers before officers killed them.

"If these folks hold really passionate views that the government has no authority over them they may result to violence," Highsmith said.

New Hanover County Sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Jerry Brewer says his agency's deputies have not had as many run-ins with sovereign citizens as those in Brunswick County, but they are prepared.

"We do training that involves learning more about sovereign citizens and their beliefs," Brewer said. "We've sent some, we've sent guys to training, and it's just something we have to be aware of."

But the threat goes beyond violence and disregard for the rule of law.

Experts say sovereign citizens use scare tactics through the very legal system they disclaim to intimidate. These actions are considered "paper terrorism." Among their tactics is filing bogus claims and false liens against officers and judges, which can destroy credit or just tie the them up in court.

Herring, who is charged with drunk driving and other offenses in that chase in Brunswick County, filed her own paperwork in Brunswick County Court, claiming she is not a member of any corporate or political body. Experts say her paperwork fits the mold of other sovereign citizens, including not capitalizing United States of America."

Whether she recognizes its jurisdiction or not, Herring is due in court next month.

Late last year, a new state law made it a felony to knowingly file a false lien or encumbrance against a public officer or employee based on that person's performance of official duties. The law also lets the register of deeds reject such a filing.

In addition to individuals, the University of North Carolina School of Government says there are several sovereign citizen groups active in our state, with names like Moorish Nation, Washitaw Nation, North Carolina American Republic and Carolina Liberty.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.


It's really sad that people

It's really sad that people do not study the founding documents so that they can understand what their position as a citizen in this once great nation was supposed to be. Years and years of government education has accomplished what it was meant to do. Re-write history. I would encourage the true seeker of the truth, to stop and take the time to study in detail the first 100 years of this county. From it's founding to the civil war and the results of reconstruction, then step back and look at everything that is taking place today and compare notes.

PS - This reporter seems to have plagiarized the SPLC.

NCAR is Not Associated with Sovereign Citizens

The North-Carolina American Republic is not associated with the sovereign citizen movement as indicated by the University of North Carolina School of Government reference in this article. If you visit the site (, you'll see that this organization is for sovereignty of the state itself (the people, collectively), not the individual citizens. Also, if you'll do some research, you'll notice that and historian John Ainsworth (also linked from the NCAR site) actually refers to the sovereign citizen movement as patriot mythology. He debunks it in some of his recent webcasts.

Carolina Liberty is also not a sovereign citizen movement. If you click over to their Resources page, you'll discover that they are/were simply a study group who gathered to study our founding documents, and that a large part of their curriculum was actually the re-establishing of the state itself (ie. the North Carolina American Republic!)

Again, the North-Carolina American Republic and its citizens are in no way part of the Sovereign Citizen movement. I would strongly encourage WWAY News and/or the University referenced to first contact this organization BEFORE lumping them together with other movements as has been done here. Contact information is public and available to all interested parties.

Do your homework instead of blathering off at the mouth

It really is amazing just how incredibly stupid some people are.
First "sovereign citizen" is an oxymoron, the reporter should have done some homework instead of just belching out an incoherent rant.

Second, yes there are groups that think they are outside of the law however there are those of us who do their homework and know exactly what is going on...

Third, let me elaborate on the second statement, I am guessing that the majority of people that replied to this rant are not even aware of the following and I quote from the NC Constitution, Article 1,
Sec. 2. Sovereignty of the people.

All political power is vested in and derived from the people; all government of right originates from the people, is founded upon their will only, and is instituted solely for the good of the whole.

We are all Sovereign Individuals and some of us are well informed as to what is taking place, Common Law is gone! however still our right, courts are now commercial courts based on admiralty and UCC, uniform conmmercial code.

The 13th amendment is an unlawful amendment, it replaced the original and lawfully ratified 13th amendment, the 14th enslaves all of us to be so called US Citizens instead of our Sovereign Republic/State and lastly the 16th amendment is also unlawful as it was not lwafully ratified allowing the irs to be nothing more than a collection agency that is not a true government agency.

This is all common knowledge, so before you go spouting off about being an illegal or a tax dodger do your homework, get your head out of the sand and stand up for what is right, the uninformed are doomed to be subjects while the informed are assured to be free and to fight for what is our PROTECTED rights, not granted rights as the government and left wing media would have you believe...

You can't fix Stupid.....Thanks Ron.


All you self righteous pompous leftist windbags PLEASE, Read the Declaration of Independence, read, the Constitution and the Federalist Papers which preceded the Constitution and is what it is based on and read the Constitution of this great Republic/State of North Carolina and actually learn something instead of blindly listening to the sheep herders, or just keep drinking the kool aid.

Hey Ron just wantef to know

Hey Ron just wantef to know if you are a sovereign citizen? If so may you please e-mail me? I wouldrreally like to ask you a few things thank you sir.

Sovereign Citizens

Right on Ron for taking to task the "self righteous pompous leftist windbags." I greatly appreciate you letting us in on the inside dope from those of you who "know exactly what is going on..." Your take is so much more valuable than the news, or Jon Stewart. I think your ability to quote from a state constitution is admirable, even though it has no bearing and is totally irrelevant. Your grasp of the picayune is startling and I applaud you for it.

I especially like how you support your position. For instance, you write, "All political power is vested in and derived from the people; all government of right originates from the people, is founded upon their will only, and is instituted solely for the good of the whole."

Right on mother! I like how you totally discount how the electoral process supports laws "instituted solely for the good of the whole." Your support for the assertion that "courts are now commercial courts based on admiralty and UCC, uniform conmmercial (sic) code" is textbook. I love how you cite examples and law to support your position.

I think the greatest piece of your writing demonstrates the intelligence of the movement and is manifest in the sentence "learn something instead of blindly listening to the sheep herders, or just keep drinking the kool (sic) aid."

The irony is palpable. Rock on with your stoopid self.


You should do some spelling

You should do some spelling and grammar homework.

Not to start a fight but....

It's true that most of people aren't even aware of the NC Constitution's Article 1, Sec. 2. regarding sovereignty of the people. However it's sad that people base their life on just one section to justify whatever ideological excuse they've cooked up not to be a part of society. A society which pays taxes to provide for the benefit of all, to provide relief in times of need and care for it's old, sick and poor and it's this premise that has made us a nation envied by most of the world. For most, if not all, sovereign citizens are those who seek yet another way to claim persecution and avoid contributing to the greater good intended to create a society of free men as was the intent and still is the intent of our North Carolina State Constitution.

How about reading down further to Sections 3-5-7-8-12 and 36....

A True Sovereign Citizen...

Will surrender his drivers license immediately, sell their car cause the roads are taxpayers privilege, will start living off the land.(tax at the grocery register), start breaking every law cause they do not believe in them...etc....etc...such fake people claiming they are "sovereign" citizens, too funny....


One error, If you speak with a Sovereign Citizen they will tell you that they honor "Police Officers" Over Sheriffs Deputies. Not real sure why. Its my belief they come from up North were their aren't any sworn deputies with powers of arrest. Just a tid bit of information for ya. XOXOXO Say's who!? Say's Kblue!!!

Kure Beach public servant mooches

KBlue ! check out the highly paid public servant mooches in Kure Beach that go over and call acting like they are visiting handicapped and senior citizens to check on their safety and then write all kinds of stuff up while they are at their house then get their crooked lawyer to try to take their homes and sell it and take their equity! Sovereign is sounding more interesting. Who can possibly compete with a million dollars in tax paychecks and resources given to these vile moochers. They have fancy cars, report pads, computers, audio & video recorders, guns, handcuffs and are a 24 hour militia.


I will remind you citizens that more than half of our taxes go straight to military. A military that in the near future will be used against you. All the things that are needed in our community, can be afforded by the community. We no help from politicians to pave a road. We have enough people to afford the responsibilities without first having to pay billions to companies for corporate bail-outs and sometimes even trillions. Its time the people wake up and realize how your money is being used against you. I challenge the public to get involved and research how your money is being spent before its too late.
"By the people for the people" -Abraham lincoln-

"more than half of our taxes go straight to military" ???

-- 2013 Estimated Total Federal, State and Local Spending Percentages --
-- (Source: US Budget and US Census Bureau data) --

Defense: 24%
Health care: 24%
Pensions: 23%
Welfare : 11%
Interest: 7%
Education: 4%
Transportation: 3%
Other spending: 3%
Protection: 2%
General Gov’t: 1%

Dude, you wouldn't recognize reality if it bit you on your behind while you were sitting on the crapper.

Give it up. You're embarassing yourself.

Always trim your hair

before putting on your aluminum foil skull cap. I you don't, stray crazy thoughts will creep in around the edges.

By the way genius: Abraham Lincoln's last name always starts with a capital "L", not a small one. If you can't even get that right, we're certainly not going to count on you to get it right on larger issues.

Guess Again

Wrong Facts Again. No. The majority of the money goes into entitlements. That means welfare and now Obama care. Special projects for special constituents. And all those local grants that turn into local tax dollars to support them after they are established. Research? Do your own! "it is better to appear a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt." Mark Twain.


Is this what journalism has

Is this what journalism has come to in our society?



Caps Lock Blah, blah, blah

No, that's it. That's what we all got out of your post...



Know the Law

Most of the people mention in this article hasn't a clue as to what it means to be a sovereign citizen just claiming sovereign citizen will not get it. You must know the laws and terms in the state you reside. Also you best know how to handle yourself in the courts or otherwise you are going to lose big time. Most lawyers haven't a clue either. One website that can guide you in a good direction in living as a sovereign citizen, Logs Radio Network dot Com.


As far as intelligence I graduated at the top of my class, and have done the research to uncover the truth about our government and their evil agenda. As far as the FEMA prisons, Governor Ventura has researched that topic for us and the government stopped him from reairing his episode on FEMA prisons. Hows that for a sucky job. You were right about one thing though, I am desperate and you should be to, for the president himself has made a speech admitting to the goal of detaining people and indefinitely if wanted without them first commiting a crime with only the belief that they will some day commit a crime. The truth is usually more stranger than fiction. And sometimes the truth is so strange that the public decides to ignore and disbelieve it.
GENESIS chapter 7

I hate to pop your delusional bubble

but "the truth shall set you free.

Jesse Ventura's FEMA camps images:
- a satellite image of a prison in North Korea
- an actual prison in Ohio
- an illegal immigrant detention center
- an image of a building of a company that makes actually makes coffin liners in Georgia

Your YouTube link:
- is a cut-and-paste of a speech Obama was making about Guantanamo Bay detainees and most definitely not about American citizens.

(Earlier post) “Obama is swindelling trillions of citezens hard earned taxes until our lenders are all tapped out”:
- (spelling mistakes aside, for the moment) What’s he doing with the money? Putting it under his pillow? Certainly not putting it in banks if the “lenders are all tapped out”. Maybe he has a special cave where he keeps his gold pile! (Crap ... think I just started another conspiracy theory)

- Graduated at the top of your class and yet you use phrases like “more stranger than fiction”? Your earlier post was filled with so many misspelled words and grammatical mistakes; it looked like the work of a fourth grader. That must be some school if you graduated top of your class.
- “YouTube has its privileges” (from previous post). Please tell me you’re not using YouTube as your primary source for news because it’s sure starting to look like that’s the case.

It took me all of five minutes to research and debunk the nonsense you’re pushing out as “truth”. Why is it that I can do that and you can’t? Two reasons: (1) You don’t really try hard enough, (2) You just feel better embracing conspiracy nonsense.(Jesse Ventura does it for the money. He sells his show to suckers like you. What's your excuse?)

That has to be a sad way to live your life. My condolences.

Thank you

Thank you for pointing out something I have been unable to get many people online to understand. It is easier to watch somebody's selectively edited video or to read someone's factually deficient blog (posing as a news story) than it is to take the 5 minutes to look up the truth. My brain immediately tells me when I read something so incredibly far left or right there is more to the story. In the time it takes me to find the truth my friends have reposted the stories/videos and made comments they later regret when I post the links that debunk the original posts.

In this case the original poster is hoping that enough people repeat the false information before someone comes along to ruin his message with the truth. If the myth is repeated enough times it becomes accepted as fact. So-called news sources on the far left and right have been employing this tactic for years resulting in the extreme polarization of Americans.

There is the very real possibility that the original poster is uanware that his post is factually incorrect. That is just laziness on his part. Also sad is the fact that the original poster may not even see the responses to his false posting. I know people who refuse to even check the responses to their posts because the truth conflicts with how they feel in their gut. Stephen Colbert calls this truthiness.

" ruin his message with the truth"

What a great phrase! I totally agree with you. Wish more people had the common sense to agree as well.

I find it disturbing that the new normal seems to be either an extreme left or right viewpoint; never the middle and never a sensible compromise. It's laziness, pure and simple. Why think when someone else can do it for you, and besides, an intelligent compromise requires more effort. A good analogy for me is: It's easier to place your cursor on the extreme left or right side of your computer screen than to place it exactly in the middle. That would require measuring the distance from either side. It would only take a minute or two to do that; but that would be too much work. That's how it seems to be in politics these days. If we continue our lazy ways, our county will go right down the dumper. That too is easy enough to research, but most people won't bother to.

An interesting factoid: Did you know that Stephen Colbert’s sister, who’s currently running for political office, pronounces her last name “cole-bert”, not “cole-bear”? I think I’ll spend about 30 seconds researching that to find out why. :-)

"STRANGE"? Dude... ARE the EPITOMY of strange! Now, go put your foil hat back on and wait quietly for them...


Please read all the comments below. The community needs to research how the politicians are spending our money, specifically to use our taxes to imprison/enslave us. More than 50% of our taxes go to military more than half of our taxes. The military will be used against us in the near future. Obama said it himself, that the government will start detaining citizens indefinetly without having first committed a crime. Meaning you will be arrested and detained without breaking the law, and his exuse is so you don't commit a crime in the future. His speech is made very clear on youtube. The PATRIOT ACT gives him the power to do whatever he wants. Seriously people its time to start paying attention to whats going on around you and quit being so caught up in all the distractions that the devil has put in your way to blind you. Taxes are to keep the public weak and to give the government power over them."By the people for the people" -Abraham Lincoln- not for the corporations.

Wow so sovereign citizens

Wow so sovereign citizens think they don't have to pay taxes or anything yet benefit from the roads payed for bytaxes communications which their main interface is paid for by taxes.....hmmmmm seems to me that sovereign citizen means new age mooch


Notice how the media compares a lady whom would not pull over to the Oklahoma city bomber. This is what our country has lowered itself to,tactics which include controlling the media to convince you that any individual that is strong on their own beliefs and have individuality is wrong,Oh, I mean terrorist. While misdirecting you from what is really going on, Obama is swindelling trillions of citezens hard earned taxes until our lenders are all tapped out and then going to sell us off to China. Youtube has its priveledges. Did you know U.S. has built with your taxes plenty of "Fema prisons" to imprison you and your children(seperate facilities for the children). These people do not want to comply to these laws not because they are rebels/criminals but because they do not agree with how they operate and/or the corruption behind their evil agenda. The truth is we(you and your family) are heading for a holocaust and everyone is blinded from the truth by the media not to mention the fluoride and aspartame(food additives/poisons)used to numb our brains. By the way I myself do not believe in a law free nation. We need laws and punishments but the enforcement agencies have lost tract of their purpose, JUSTICE, and become another greedy business focused on the goal of stripping citezens of all the hard earned cash and especially their valuable time,which is alot more precious and scarce than we acknowledge. The more technological solving crimes become the more easier it is for the corrupted system to frame someone. Your tax money is being used against you, why should you pay taxes.Only you can change the world around you. I am sure Deputy Cherry was just doing his job, and i've never known him or even heard any rumors of him being corrupt so don't pick on the officer. If you want to pick on the cops there are plenty of evil and I mean evil cops to pick on. MATTHEW 22:17-21

Fema Camps and stuff

You know I used to think like many others here - that all this stuff about aspartemine, GMO's, the Codex an Fema camps { Still think the Fema camps are BS } and massive spending on Military Industrial / Technical complex, erosion of Liberty, educational brain warping... was all tinfoil hat paranoia - and though some of it is - there is definitely a Control /Power shift in the works that is truly frightening.
I've gathered as much honest research as I could digeston several of these controversial items { most recently vaccines/ pharmacuiticals, GMO's, 211 and NARAD, various other Political stuff} and been literally blown out of the water - we are literally drowning in a sea of prevarications.
All I can say is do your own research and pay close attention to who the sources are and their affiliations - you too will be blown away even if the alleged Black Helicopters and FEMA concentration camps are a hoax- cause there's plenty of other conspiracy nut stuff that really is in the works.

And the truth shall set you free.

Unfortunately, finding out what's actually true requires real knowledge and real facts; it’s not just what someone else tells you.

To be able to do that requires an education. In order to acquire that education, you have to actually study, not just attend a school.

Crazy stupid stuff like ..... ""Fema prisons" to imprison you and your children" ..... or ..... "fluoride and aspartame(food additives/poisons)used to numb our brains" ..... or ..... "swindelling trillions of citezens hard earned taxes until our lenders are all tapped out" ..... is not only untrue, it's also illogical.

That's the kind of stuff people come up with when they don't educate themselves. That's the kind of stuff that one uneducated person passes on to another until they both believe it's true. People who can't spell and have no idea how to put together a simple sentence or haven't even a clue as to grammar are people who didn't take the time to at least try to educate themselves. These are people who now read small crazy pamphlets instead of books. These are the kind of people who usually wind up with crappy jobs and a crappy life. These are people who need to blame someone or something else for their failure to achieve more rather than blame themselves. These are the kind of people who make up, or pass along, crazy nonsense because it's just easier then dealing with the truth because sometimes the truth sucks and you really just don’t want to hear it. Desperate people make up desperate stories. Sometimes they begin to feel so desperate, that after a while, they believe their own nonsense.

People like you.