Authorities in Minnesota charged a “free citizen” with two felonies after a standoff with police where a “device” was pulled from his RV that was shaped like a pig and could qualify as an explosive, a report said.
The standoff started after Dennis Duane Vann, 42, was pulled over by police for a revoked license, The Pioneer Press reported. He allegedly told officers that he didn’t need a license because he is a “free citizen.”
A tense standoff ensued and lasted from 5:10 p.m. until 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday, the report said.
Scott Nadeau, the Maplewood Police chief, told the paper that more charges could come pending a test on the pig-shaped device that is being eyed as a possible explosive. The report said the words “(expletive) the police” was written on the device. Vann allegedly said “a couple of cops are going to die” during the incident.
He only came out of the RV after officers released chemical rounds into the RV and deployed a robot to take apart the vehicle, the report said. Besides the revoked license, Vann reportedly had a warrant out for his arrest over failure to pay child support.
He was charged with two felonies, according to the report: making threats of violence with reckless disregard for risk and fleeing police.
The sovereign citizen ideology is a belief that individuals are “immune from federal, state, and local laws and that many Constitutional amendments are false.”
It also says supporters believe they have “unfettered authority to travel ‘on the land,’” and don’t have to pay government fees and taxes, “(rejecting) the authority of the government, law enforcement, and the courts.” In short, many believe the government is illegitimate.