Several “sovereign citizens” in Washington State, who call themselves “County Rangers,” are under investigation for various tax fraud charges and allegedly threatening to abduct law enforcement officials.
A report by Levi Pulkkinen of Seattlepi.com details the various charges against the group, which reads like a greatest hits record of schemes by those purporting to be sovereign citizens.
Those in this group call themselves “Assemblies on the Counties at Large” or the “Sovereign Assemblies,” and officials say that among other things, they have been deputizing themselves as “County Rangers,” trying to defraud the IRS with false filings and creating their own license plates.
Four of the main players are Timothy Garrison, treasurer of the Assemblies, his wife, the Vice President, and Raymond and Ute Jarlik Bell. All were part of the common-law jury in Alaska that “acquitted” Schaeffer Cox after he was slapped with a misdemeanor gun charge.
“Mr. Jarlik-Bell, in his role as a ‘judge’ or ‘minister of justice,’ held a ‘trial’ where Mr. Cox was exonerated from pending charges in Alaska,” an IRS agent (who is not named) told a court in Seattle. According to the PI, another unnamed IRS agent said: “Based on information received from other law enforcement sources, Jarlik-Bell has been in contact with Cox on numerous occasions recently regarding Cox’s problems with state and federal law enforcement.”
Cox, the leader of the Alaska Peacemakers Militia and a sovereign citizen in his own right, was arrested in March, along with several of his followers, for allegedly stockpiling weapons in a plot to kill several state officials. Prior to his arrest, Cox put himself on trial in a common-law court in the back room of an Alaska Denny’s, after he received a misdemeanor weapons charge for failing to notify a police officer that he was carrying a concealed weapon. Cox skipped out on his February court date because he didn’t believe the court had the authority to arrest him, and was eventually arrested as part of the larger FBI investigation into the plot.
The Washington “Sovereign Assemblies” were allegedly involved in a number of other schemes in addition to their support of Cox.
The Garrisons, for one, had their home raided in June, after Timothy Garrison sent a letter to a federal marshal saying he planned to “arrest” two mayors in Skagit County. Over the next ten months, federal officials investigated Garrison for filing fake tax returns on behalf of unsuspecting clients, though so far he has only been picked up for a unlawful possession of a firearm. Investigators found County Ranger “peace officer” badges, among other things, in the Garrisons’ house in a July search.
Then there are the Jarlik Bells. In 2010, Ute Jarlik Bell was arrested on suspicion of driving without a license after she would only give the officer papers that identified her as a “Peace Official Duty County Ranger” and “On the County of Thurston On the state of Washington.” She had been pulled over initially for driving without a license plate. In May 2010, the officer caught a woman — who he said resembled Bell — surveilling his home and following him in her car.
“Your judges, Duvall mayor and prosecutor and police chief, and KING COUNTY SHERRIF(sic) Sue Rahr, KING COUNTY SHERIFF officers, and KING COUNTY COMMISSIONERS are enforcing a privilege code upon public vehicular travelers … when in fact the law used to do it is wholly inapplicable to me, my family, and my automobiles as has been proven, so every man or woman on the soil of Washington can arrest all judges presiding over such cases therein, and any other public official in collusion with this racketeering activity,” Ute Jarlik Bell said in a District Court filing. She added that she “will feel free to rip their front doors off, if necessary, to arrest them … and to deliver them to federal authorities.”
For his part, Raymond Jarlik Bell wound up getting tased shortly after at a traffic stop after he was pulled over for driving without plates. “I really didn’t appreciate being tased and they are lucky I didn’t have my shotgun with me or there would have been a bunch of dead cops,” he said after he was arrested. “Not that I’m hunting cops; but like hunting pheasant, when you see one, you shoot one.”
In July, the Jarlik Bells were indicted by a federal grand jury on three counts of fraud in relation to a scheme to file fake tax returns with the IRS.
Read the full report by the PI here.
As TPM has been reporting, sovereign citizens are a loosely organized group of people who reject most forms of government in the U.S., particularly the court system. Often those who identify as sovereign citizens file false liens against officials or wind up in trouble for refusing to use license plates or driver’s licenses. In some cases, like that of Cox, sovereigns resort to violence when confronted with law enforcement.