Three members of the Rise of the Moors, a group arrested after an armed standoff along a Massachusetts highway in early July, are due in court Tuesday.
Police arrested 11 members of the Rhode Island-based group, who have said they are not subject to federal or state laws, after an armed standoff on July 3 on Interstate 95 in Wakefield.
Steven Perez, 31 Aaron J. Jimenez, 27, both of Bronx, New York, as well as Aaron Lamont Johnson, 29 of Detroit, Michigan, are scheduled to be arraigned at 11 a.m. Tuesday in Woburn Superior Court.
A trooper had stopped to offer assistance to two vehicles refueling on the side of the highway. The men from Rhode Island, New York and Michigan, who were dressed in military-style clothing and body armor and were armed with long guns and pistols, did not have licenses to carry firearms in Massachusetts, police said.
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The self-described leader of the group said they were a militia traveling from Rhode Island to Maine for “training” on private land, although the exact nature of the training was unclear.
The men were held without bail after a series of contentious arraignments and dangerousness hearings at which members of the group said they are sovereign citizens of Moroccan descent and not subject to federal or state laws.
They face charges that include unlawful possession of firearms, improper storage of firearms around a minor, wearing body armor during a felony, conspiracy to possess firearms, possession of a loaded firearm and possession of ammunition.
Two more members are due to be arraigned in Woburn later this week. Omar Malik Antonio, 36 of Brooklyn, New York, will be arraigned Wednesday and Quinn Cumberlander, 40 of Pawtucket, Rhode Island, will be arraigned Thursday.
The group filed a federal lawsuit alleging that state courts have no jurisdiction over the case in late July. Filed in U.S. District Court in Rhode Island, the suit alleges “defamation, discrimination of national origin and deprivation of their rights under the color of law.”
“If the state courts continue their unlawful prosecution and or conviction, they will be violating the claimants civil, national and human rights,” the suit says. It seeks $70 million in damages.
The Massachusetts State Police and several individual troopers, the judge who presided over their arraignments, the state as a whole, and several media organizations are named as defendants.