(Reuters) - A Las Vegas couple has been arrested for allegedly plotting to capture and kill a police officer, and authorities say they were part of the anti-government “sovereign citizen” movement, a television station reported.
David Brutsche, 42, and Devon Newman, 67, were arrested on Tuesday after an undercover investigation that began in April, Las Vegas station KTNV reported.
“They were not targeting a specific officer or law enforcement agency,” Jim Seebock of the Las Vegas police department’s counter-terrorism unit told a news conference carried by the station. “This was to be a target of opportunity.”
According to a police report, Brutsche and Newman planned to kidnap a random officer, keep the officer in a makeshift “jail,” and then try the officer in a sovereign court of law, the station said.
After a conviction, the pair planned to kill the officer and dispose of the body by using bleach, vinegar and heavy-duty trash bags.
“The suspects further believed that once the first kidnapping and execution was accomplished, they would be compelled to keep repeating their actions, kidnapping and killing multiple officers,” Seebock said.
Adherents to the “sovereign citizen” movement believe individuals are sovereign nations, and federal, state and local laws do not apply to them.
A police spokesman could not be immediately reached for comment.
KTNV said the pair had been charged with conspiracy to murder, conspiracy to kidnap and attempted kidnapping with weapons.
In a jailhouse interview with the station, Newman denied the charges.
She said she wanted people to “to realize that our freedoms are being eroded. I want them to stand up for themselves and demand that the government apply the Constitution.” (Reporting by Ian Simpson; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)