As reported by the Baltimore Sun, a widow placed her $1.5 million Maryland mansion up for sale after the death of her husband last year.
However, the resident’s new occupants didn’t exactly pay the full price.
A group of five “sovereign citizens” moved into the mansion and attempted to call it their own.
The group, which included a dentist and a convicted sex offender, were caught out by the widow’s neighbor, who alerted her to the suspicious activity when the so-called “sovereign citizens” began moving in.
First, what is a “sovereign citizen”?
Sovereign citizens, as detailed by the Southern Poverty Law Center, are a group of citizens that pick and choose what laws they abide by.
The movement originated from the conspiracy theory that the US government was “secretly replaced” by another governing body.
It is believed that they do not recognize the authority of judges or juries, as well as refusing to recognize the authority of law enforcement and state and federal governments.
According to the SPLC, sovereign citizens will often engage in “paper terrorism,” meaning that they file mass amounts of court proceedings against people and businesses in what has been labeled as “pseudo-legal nonsense.”
The moving in stress
The homeowner, whose identity has been kept private over safety concerns, stated that she was alerted to the activity by her neighbor, who got in touch with her after witnessing the trespassers unloading furniture.
The self-proclaimed “sovereign citizens” moved into the home after the homeowner had moved out, and were seen unpacking boxes and furniture, changing the locks of the house and gate, and putting a chain and sign along the driveway that read “private property.”
The homeowner then discovered that the group opened a lawsuit against her for property ownership.
The police told the Baltimore Sun that one individual from the group described the move as “sovereign acquisition.”
According to reports, police tried multiple times to get the group to abandon the home, with the use of helicopters and numerous armored vehicles.
Police were eventually able to get a search warrant for the mansion after uncovering the criminal history of Michael Lawrence Warren, who was the group’s convicted sex offender.
Another in the group, Tessa Mona Modiri, the dentist in the group, had her criminal record uncovered by the police after she had been arrested for numerous counts of burglary.
Police are still waiting to arrest three of the group involved in the incident, all of who are facing burglary charges.