A sovereign citizen in Virginia was arrested and charged with five misdemeanors after a bizarre encounter with a state police officer where he called himself a “free citizen on a free highway” and gave multiple fake names.
Michael Creath Jones, 31, was pulled over last week by State Trooper T.M. Simmons because he had a fake painted license plate with the words “Virginia” and “private use” handwritten on it.
The News Virginian reports that according to the search warrant affidavit:
Jones locked his doors and barely cracked open his window and refused to identify himself. He told Simmons he was a “free citizen on a free highway” and provided different names. The trooper asked for identification at least 10 times.
Jones also said he did not have to provide a driver’s license, and only got out of the car when Simmons threatened to arrest him and break the car window. Jones struggled when Simmons tried to handcuff him. He was later charged with “resisting arrest, obstruction of justice with force, driving without a license, having an expired inspection sticker and defective equipment,” Staunton’s News-Leader reports.
Simmons said he found documents relating to the sovereign citizens movement and their activities in the trunk of the car, as well as a Geiger counter, according to the News-Leader.
Sovereign citizens are a loosely organized anti-government group who believe all forms of government and laws are illegitimate. Some sovereign citizens, when confronted with law enforcement have become violent, while others have sought revenge through “paper terrorism,” like several in New York who were recently convicted of mail fraud.