Two Anti-Government Extremists Arrested on Weapons Charges in Florida

  • April 25, 2007

Federal marshals arrested federal fugitive Jack Vinson, 53, on April 11 in Tampa, Florida, after raiding his ex-girlfriend's house. Authorities caught Vinson after he attempted to flee by climbing out the back window of the house and jumping two four-foot fences.

After the arrest Vinson gave authorities permission to search his car, where they found a gun. Vinson then allegedly told authorities that he was a Freemen, and that the government could not restrict his right to carry a gun.

Vinson had been on the run since March 20, when United States marshals went to Vinson’s home in Macon County, North Carolina, to arrest him for federal parole violation stemming from a 2002 drug conviction - he had failed to pay fines and failed a drug test. Vinson pulled a gun on the agents and fled into the woods on foot.

During the incident authorities found three handguns and a live gunpowder pipe bomb full of coins and ball bearings inside his van. The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation Bomb Squad destroyed the device in a ditch.

A second man involved with anti-government activity was also arrested on felony charges in Florida. Federal marshals arrested John H. Forbes, 55, of Ft. Gratiot, Michigan, on March 30 near Gainesville, Florida. Forbes was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm, and possession of a machine gun.

Forbes is believed to have ties to the Michigan militia. According to authorities, Forbes possessed 42 firearms in his Michigan home, seven of which were machine guns.

Forbes will be extradited to Michigan to face the federal charges.

More from this Section