After fleeing from police during a traffic stop overnight, 11 “armed and dangerous” males equipped in tactical clothing and loaded with handguns and weapons were apprehended by Massachusetts police early on Saturday, July 3.
According to officials, two AR-15 semi-automatic rifles, two handguns, a bolt-action rifle, a shotgun, and a short-barrel rifle were discovered. At a news conference on Saturday, Middlesex County District Attorney Marian Ryan stated that all 11 suspects are to attend the district court on Tuesday morning, July 6.
According to Massachusetts State Police, when confronted by the police early Saturday morning, the men did not have driver or firearms licenses. So even though the group was only passing through and had no intention of stopping, both actions are illegal under Massachusetts law.
The Wakefield Police Department said, “Approximately 8 males fled into the woods carrying rifles and handguns and appear to be contained in the wooded area adjacent to the highway. No threats were made, but these men should be considered armed and dangerous.”
Massachusetts State Police tweeted, “We have several armed persons accounted for at this scene on Rt 95. They are refusing to comply with orders to provide their information and put down their weapons. We are asking residents of Wakefield and Reading to shelter in place at this time.”
Jamhal Tavon Sanders Latimer, 29, of Providence, Rhode Island; Robert Rodriguez, 21, of the Bronx, New York; Wilfredo Hernandez, 21, of the Bronx; Alban El Curraugh, 27, of the Bronx; Aaron Lamont Johnson, 29, of Detroit; Quinn Cumberlander, 40, of Pawtucket, Rhode Island; Lamar Dow, 34, of the Bronx; and Conrad Pierre, 29, of Baldwin, New York were all members of the group. The police did not name another 17-year-old because he is a teenager.
According to police, all of the males are charged with illegally possessing a handgun, illegally possessing ammunition, using body armor in the commission of a crime, possessing a large capacity magazine, inappropriate storing of weapons in a vehicle, and secret planning to conduct a crime.
According to authorities, the ten adults were being held at the Billerica House of Correction on $100,000 cash bail, while the teenager returned to his parents. There were no reports of injuries or gunshots.
Around 1.30 a.m. Saturday, July 3, a state trooper noticed the group on the side of Interstate-95 between Wakefield and Reading. According to Col. Christopher Mason, the men told authorities they had been going to Maine from Rhode Island for “training.”
Nine suspects were first apprehended by police, but two more were then captured in their vehicle. Two suspects were taken to the hospital, although officials stated it was for pre-existing problems unrelated to the incident.
Inhabitants in Wakefield and Reading were warned to lock their doors after Massachusetts State Police released an emergency shelter-in-place notice. The group was “dangerous” and “do not recognize U.S. laws,” police added.
Group members published to the YouTube account “Rise of the Moors” on Saturday morning, which police verified during a news briefing. However, how tightly the men are linked to the Moorish Sovereign Citizens—a different radical squatter organization that rejects the U.S. government’s power and legislation—was unknown.
Several men dressed in camouflage stood beside I-95, holding a Moroccan flag and declaring, “We are not anti-government” in one Youtube video.
“According to United States federal law, we have the right to peaceful journey, so with that being said, we should not have been detained here,” the man said in another video labeled ‘Moroccan Peace.’
The Moorish sovereign citizen movement arose in the early 1990s as a part of the anti-government sovereign citizens’ movement, which maintains that individuals possess sovereignty and are separate from federal and state authority.