Despite days of assurances by U.S. marshals they have no intention to raid the fortified home of a convicted New Hampshire tax resister, a bench warrant unsealed by a federal judge yesterday may indicate authorities are preparing to end a developing standoff.
Ed Brown and his wife, Elaine, of Plainfield, N.H., were convicted Thursday of conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to disguise large financial transactions and structuring.
Brown has said he has no intention of surrendering to authorities and that his fortress-like home – complete with cement walls and a watchtower – is well-stocked with food and capable of generating power from solar and wind sources if authorities cut him off the grid.
“I love my home. It’s my castle. There’s plenty to do here,” Brown told Associated Press by phone yesterday. “It’s all set up for me to stay here forever.”
Until Judge Steven McAuliffe unsealed the document, marshals had refused to confirm whether an arrest warrant existed for Brown, who quit attending federal court on Jan. 12, the fourth day of the trial. The bench warrant was issued at that time, the Concord, N.H., Monitor reported.
Brown’s refusal to pay federal income taxes – he insists the law does not require it – and his determination to defend his freedom have stirred support across the country with anti-tax groups, libertarians and militia supporters. Brown, a constitutionalist, has been active in the militia movement.
“If Mexico came up on my land and tried to take my land, would I not fight?” Brown said. “The United States is the same exact thing as Mexico in this state. It’s a fact of law.”
Brown’s supporters are not only online – the Plainfield home has become a rallying site for many who hope to be able to prevent Brown from being taken into custody.
According to the Claremont, N.H., Eagle Times, Brown has been assured that the government will not try to move onto his 110-acre property and arrest him.
“Right now I still have control,” U.S. Marshal Gary DiMartino told Brown. “Nothing is going to happen.
“I’m not going to come there and escalate this. I don’t want to come there. Trust me, I don’t want to have any confrontation with you.”
Despite comparisons made by some to the 1993 Branch Davidian standoff in Waco, Tex., Brown called reports he is holed up with armed supporters an exaggeration. Thirty guns that he owned were removed from his house in May after he was ordered to surrender his weapons, reported Associated Press. Brown says he now has only a .45 caliber handgun for his protection and a large box of fireworks.
“They said they have no concern at this time which means to say that I’m on high alert,” Brown said.
Mrs. Brown, who attended court for the reading of the verdict, is currently staying with her son in Worcester, Mass., pending the couple’s sentencing in April. She is required to wear an electronic monitoring bracelet and says she has no intention of returning to Plainfield.
“I fear for his life, but his honor is more important to him than his life,” she told an internet radio host earlier this week. “Thousands of people across the country have called and e-mailed in support of him and his principles.”
“… I pray that he will survive this, and that we can be together again in this life; surely we will be together in the next.”
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