Thursday, April 26, 2007

RE: 5-Year Prison Sentence For Brown As New Waco Draws Nearer

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: Pamela's Protest
Date: Apr 26, 2007 1:15 AM

5-Year Prison Sentence For Brown As New Waco Draws Nearer

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: Leo/FightNWO-Resisting World Government
Date: Apr 25, 2007 10:09 PM

5-Year Prison Sentence For Brown As New Waco Draws Nearer

Margot Sanger-Katz
Concord Monitor
Wednesday April 25, 2007 

A federal judge sentenced tax protesters Ed and Elaine Brown to more than five years in prison yesterday, giving them sentences at the top of the range recommended by probation officers but below sentencing recommendations offered by the prosecutor.

The couple did not attend the hearing, and Ed Brown refused to recognize the sentence or the federal court that issued it.

"I've been convicted of crimes?" he asked in a phone interview yesterday.

The couple have been holed up in their fortified Plainfield home for several months, saying that any attempts to arrest them will trigger a violent confrontation with federal officials.

The Browns were convicted in January of conspiring to defraud the government, conspiring to disguise large financial transactions and disguising large financial transactions. Elaine Brown, whose West Lebanon dental practice earned the couple's income, was also convicted of multiple counts of tax evasion and failure to withhold employment taxes. The government calculated the couple's unpaid tax bill at roughly $750,000.

The Browns, who maintain that federal income tax laws don't apply to them, argued during their trial that the laws were invalid. Midway through the trial, the Browns stopped attending the proceedings. Ed Brown issued internet and radio statements that the situation might turn into "another Waco" and urged armed supporter to help him resist capture. In 1993, a standoff between the Branch Davidian religious sect and federal officers near Waco, Texas, resulted in 80 deaths, including those of four law enforcement agents.
Elaine Brown returned to court several days later and was released into the custody of a son in Massachusetts on the condition that she not return to her husband.

But a few weeks after the guilty verdict, she violated the terms of her release and joined Ed Brown in Plainfield. On a daily internet radio show and in sporadic blog posts and news interviews, the couple have challenged the validity of their convictions and the jurisdiction of the court, and they have issued threats against the judge, prosecutor and other federal officials.

Yesterday, it appeared that the U.S. marshals took those threats seriously. More than a dozen marshals were positioned around the courtroom during the sentencing. Others stood at patrols around the Concord courthouse during the day. Several of the marshals said they were brought in from out of state to work the hearings.

"We have concerns," U.S. Marshal Stephen Monier said at a press conference after the sentences were announced. "We're genuinely concerned because of their use of the internet, the blogs and some of the statements the Browns have made."

Judge Stephen McAuliffe rejected attempts by the prosecutor to boost the couple's sentences outside of the range recommended by probation officers. Assistant U.S. Attorney Bill Morse argued that both Browns' sentences could be increased under federal sentencing guidelines because they had disrupted government functions and committed further crimes as fugitives. He also asked the judge to depart from the guidelines altogether because of the unusual circumstances surrounding their convictions.

"The defendants are thumbing their noses at the rule of law every step of the way," Morse said.

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