Officers from the Las Vegas Metro Police Department have arrested David Allan Brutsche, 42, and Devon Campbell Newman, 67, for allegedly plotting to kidnap and kill police officers in Las Vegas.
According to police, the two suspects were adherents of the sovereign citizen movement who sought to abduct a police officer while the officer made a traffic stop, then later kill him or her. The two allegedly videotaped a police traffic stop in preparation and modified a bedroom in a vacant home to create a makeshift cell in which a kidnapped officer could be detained. After “trying” the officer in a court of their own making, they allegedly planned to kill the officer and dispose of the body. Both Brutche and Newman reportedly made statements in which they said they would be willing to shoot law enforcement officers.
However, Brutsche and Newman were unaware that some of the people whom they thought were accomplices were actually police officers conducting an undercover investigation. Police have charged them with conspiracy to commit murder, conspiracy to commit kidnapping, and attempted first-degree kidnapping with use of a deadly weapon. The sovereign citizen movement is extremely anti-government in nature and adherents of the movement have been involved in a number of police killings and plots against police and government officials in recent years.
After her arrest, Newman, who for several years has been the local public relations director for the Church of Scientology in Las Vegas, gave jailhouse interviews with local television reporters in which she denied involvement in any plot to kidnap or kill officers, saying she only intended to video them. The Scientology movement as a whole does not have any significant association with the sovereign citizen movement.
Newman told reporters that she met Brutsche while he was giving out water bottles on the Las Vegas strip in exchange for donations. Police have, in fact, arrested Brutsche more than once for obstructive use of a public sidewalk and operating without a business license. On a more serious note, Brutsche is a registered sex offender with felony convictions in California for indecent exposure and lascivious acts with a three-year-old child.
In October 2012, Brutsche filed a sovereign citizen “Affidavit of Status” with the Clark County Recorder’s Office in which he declared himself as “one of the people of these united [sic] States of America” and a “living, breathing sentient human being on the land” exempt from “any and all identifications, treatments, and requirements as any ARTIFICIAL PERSON pursuant to any process, law, code, regulation, ordinance, statute or any color thereof.” In the document Brutsche also declared that “public servants” who violate their oaths of office “commit a Treason.”
Two months later, Brutsche filed a second document that seemed to anticipate future encounters with law enforcement. The document, titled “Schedule of Fees for David Allen Brutsche,” listed fees Brutsche would apparently attempt to charge police for any interaction with him. For example, the fee for “speaking to a cop” was “20 minutes for free” then $200 per hour. If someone impounded his vehicle, the fee was “$2000 or 1 troy ounce of gold plus cost of recovery and any damages.”