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Sovereigns Arrested for Plot to Kidnap, Kill Officers

August 23, 2013  | 

David Allan Brutsche (left) and Devon Campbell Newman planned to kidnap and kill a Las Vegas officer. Photos courtesy of LVMPD.
David Allan Brutsche (left) and Devon Campbell Newman planned to kidnap and kill a Las Vegas officer. Photos courtesy of LVMPD.
Two sovereign citizens planning to kidnap and kill a Las Vegas Metro Police officer were arrested Tuesday following a three-month undercover investigation into the scheme, police said.

David Allan Brutsche, 42, and Devon Campbell Newman, 67, were arrested by Las Vegas Metro PD counter-terrorism officers and booked Wednesday on charges of attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder, and other charges.

During 30 meetings with the suspects during the investigation, undercover detectives recorded hours of conversations in which Brutsche and Newman expressed their hatred for law enforcement and described an elaborate plan to start "snatching cops" at traffic stops, imprison them in a makeshift jail at a vacant house, conduct a trial in their own court, and kill the officer.

Brutsche said the plan was necessary because police have violated his constitutional civil rights. He told undercover detectives that even though he physically lives in this country, he is separate or "sovereign" from the United States.

"We have the right to stop the cops by killing them," he said in June, according to the police report. He added, "We have the right to shoot cops because we, as 'the people,' are the kings and the police are the servants."

Brutsche and Newman professed their allegiance to the sovereign movement in which followers believe police have no authority to arrest or detain them. Sovereigns attempt to thwart police action with paper terrorism during the legal process, and can present a violent threat to officers in the field, said Det. Rob Finch, who has investigated numerous sovereign cases with the Greensboro (N.C.) Police Department's Criminal Intelligence Unit.

Finch cautioned officers who encounter sovereigns at vehicle stops to proceed with caution.

"Just because these folks appear to be a mouthy sovereign that violent threat is there," Finch told "Patrol officers are dealing with a segment of society who doesn't believe in our authority."

Brutsche and Newman told undercover detectives they hoped their plan would help recruit others to their cause, including using training and recruitment videos. The video would coach other sovereigns about what to say to officers at traffic stops, including "Don't touch your weapon, don't touch your radio, or I'll blow your head off."

He discussed obtaining firearms training from Front Sight Firearms Training Institute in Pahrump, Nev. Brutsche also said he did extensive research on the internet in planning the scene, according to police records.

In July, Brutsche told an undercover detective he wanted to recruit a team of people and that he had "plans for dealing with the cops when they were 'harassing people.'" He added, "Blood or no blood, it doesn't matter. I will kill anyone that tries to stop the cause of liberty. I have no qualms about it."

After the kidnapping, Brutsche said he would take the officer to a vacant home. On Aug. 12, Brutsche and Newman were brought to a police-controlled residence, where they began attaching boards and eye sockets to a wall in the master bedroom where they planned to restrain the officer. Three days later, they discussed disposing of the dead officer's body by dumping it in the desert.

Brutsche said he would assemble a sovereign jury for a trial accusing the officer of treason. Las Vegas SWAT officers arrested the pair Tuesday, as they planned to move forward with the kidnapping plan.

By Paul Clinton


Sovereign Citizens: A Clear and Present Danger

PODCAST: Sovereign Citizens

Comments (11)

Displaying 1 - 11 of 11

Leonard Mather @ 8/23/2013 5:41 PM

I am an older psychologist whose internship was taken at the Central State Hospital in Petersburg, VA in late 1959 and later as Chief Psychologist in 1962. I had a patient of similar views as Brutsche. Back then, prior to de-institutionalization, such types were assessed, found paranoid and of danger to others. They were promptly committed involuntarily and put in the Criminally Insane Ward. I still am of the same opinion now as then. Sadly, de-institutionalization allows for attorney's to enter the fray, to allow for self-determination, self-esteem and preclude commitment. The police react AFTER the fact and cannot be expected to be proactive with psychotic thinking. Sovereign Citizens operate on a defective First Premise. All their behaviors that follow--based on their invalid first premise would be in error. Matters such as these must be covered thoroughly in TREXPO, East and West and in GOVSEC.

Ima Leprechaun @ 8/24/2013 12:34 PM

Every state has a community of Sovereigns someplace. In Ohio, they tend to congregate around Frazeysburg. But these nuts are pretty much everywhere. They are very dangerous and they would consider a traffic stop to be their ideal method to trap and harm a police officer. Why this guy wanted to have a "trial" is most unusual because Sovereigns normally do not believe in any rights of the accused under their system. These are people best deported to anywhere but here. I have no idea how Las Vegas PD were able to infiltrate this group but I am very glad they did. Thank you, Las Vegas counter-terrorism officers for a job well done. Too bad we have to afford these crazies of the rights they refuse to follow.

IVan GAME @ 8/24/2013 7:31 PM

To All claiming sovereign in USA.
That means ur on private property and trespassing. YOU don't get public property rights because ur an ASS. ONLY citizens and residents have the right to USA public property and freedoms.

JH @ 8/26/2013 2:09 AM

I do not, and would never condone killing, or violence against anyone.. With that said however. I can understand, the pain, and the frustration of these people.. and it is not a stretch of the imagination to believe that some leo' did indeed violate the man's rights at some point or other. And with this in mind I really have to ask.. Why.. Why do so many of you feel entitled to violate our rights. Rights that we were all, everyone, regardless of career choice, of color of skin, of gender, or physical, or mental ability, born with. Rights that are protected by the Constitution of these United States.. Every day across the nation law enforcement officers are seen threatining, intimidating, beating, maiming, and killing the very people they swore a solemn oath to protect. Is it the uniform? Is it the badge? The gun? What? and if it is any of those things, can you not see the pain you are causing to people?

JH @ 8/26/2013 2:10 AM

Can you not understand that when we were growing up, we were told to respect you.. To go to you if we were in danger?, or needed help? But that time has now passed.. I know people that are scared to even go out of their homes at night. People that have never been arrested, or done anything illegal. They are not afraid of criminals. They are afraid of police. All I know is it really makes me sad what you all have become and I just want to know why...

Greg @ 8/26/2013 3:56 AM

"Sovereigns attempt to thwart police action with paper terrorism during the legal process?" HUH? What exactly is "paper terrorism"? Is a lawyer defending his client with various filings a "paper terrorist?"

Youtube and a lot of videos showing illegal and disgusting acts by officers has made us no friends. SWAT wanna-be's and the endemic dog shooting/innocent neighbors shooting etc. also hasn't helped goodwill at all.

Lawman103 @ 8/26/2013 5:46 AM

Gotta love the fact Police Magazine lets anyone get on here and comment without being confirmed as a law enforcement officer like other police specific periodicals. Got get back on your anti-government, police hater websites and run your mouths there. You guys cherry pick constitutional provisions you want to follow and distort the meaning of the rest of them so it fits your ideology because you are a follower. Then you proceed to paint every law enforcement officer with the same broad brush you use for the 1% of the bad apples in law enforcement who always make headlines. Anyway, I just realized I'm arguing with psychopaths, so this is a waste of time. IMA, I must say, about 40% of the time I disagree with you, but today you got it right. Also, I am not sure if you were reflecting on the 1995 shooting out of a traffic stop with the ex-cop turned anti-goverment militia mrmber with the fake license plates, but that anti-government setiment is still alive and well in that area.

Anthony @ 8/26/2013 7:02 AM

@ Greg: "Paper-terrorism" is the process Sovereigns use to bog down the justice system and fraud the federal government. Sovereigns will file bogus liens and affidavits against police officers simply for detaining the suspect momentarily during routine traffic stops or other points of contact. These filings have no merit and are ultimately thrown out, but in the mean time they cause problems for the officer and bog down the courts.

JM @ 8/26/2013 7:43 AM

FYI - Henderson PD, a suburb of Las Vegas, had an officer ambushed by a sovern a few days prior to this arrest. They were able to use their vehicle to escape the gunfire, responding backup officers engaged and shot and killed the suspect. It is rumored that these two knew this suspect and he was also a sovern... Be safe with these nut jobs.

Greg @ 8/26/2013 9:47 AM

@ Greg: "Paper-terrorism" is the process Sovereigns use to bog down the justice system and fraud the federal government. Sovereigns will file bogus liens and affidavits against police officers simply for detaining the suspect momentarily during routine traffic stops or other points of contact. These filings have no merit and are ultimately thrown out, but in the mean time they cause problems for the officer and bog down the courts."

So, it is like what a defense attorney does.

plato's playdough @ 9/3/2013 2:46 AM

Days before his 30-day suspension is scheduled to end, Gilberton (Pa.) Police Chief Mark Kessler has posted another YouTube video, this one showing him shooting a target he calls "Eric," the first name of a borough councilman who wants him fired. from - see what happens kids, when people arrive at conclusions without taking both sides into consideration ?? A belief may or may not have merit, but their actions which harm others are the real issue. No need to destroy your yard, just deal with the weeds. (If you catch my drift..)

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