(LAS VEGAS) — Two members of a domestic terror movement were arrested in Las Vegas on Thursday after a four-month sting operation revealed they were plotting to torture and kill police officers, authorities said.
A Las Vegas police SWAT team arrested roommates David Allen Brutsche, 42, and Devon Campbell Newman, 67, near the Vegas Strip and charged them with conspiracy to commit kidnapping and murder.
The two are reputed members of the Sovereign Citizen Movement, a loose-knit organization whose members believe they are not subject to the laws of the United States and which is considered a domestic terrorist group by the FBI.
Over the course of several months an undercover officer documented the pair’s plans as they attended Sovereign Citizen meetings, bought weapons and turned an abandoned house into a virtual torture chamber, rigging the beams with ligatures to bind their captives.
The couple planned to “kidnap and kill at least one Southern Nevada police officer,” said Lt. Jim Seebock.
“The suspects believed that once the first kidnapping and execution was accomplished, they would be compelled to keep repeating their actions, kidnapping and killing multiple officers,” he said.
The pair plotted to abduct a police officer who approached them during a routine traffic stop, according to police.
They allegedly planned use the abandoned house as a “jail” in which to hold police officers, whom they accused of enforcing unjust and illegal laws. They then hoped to conduct trials and ultimately execute the officers, according to an arrest report obtained by ABC News.
“Blood or no blood, it doesn’t matter,” Brutsche told an undercover officer in July, in one of 30 such meetings that were recorded by police, according to the arrest report. “I will kill anyone that tries to stop the cause of liberty. I have no qualms about it.”
Brutsche, a six-time convicted felon and sex offender from California, appeared in court Friday morning. He was granted $600,000 bail but did not enter a plea.
Newman also appeared in court Friday, but was not given a bail hearing. She is scheduled to appear again on Monday.
Due to the conspiracy charges, the couple was transported to court separately. They both refused to recognize the court’s authority.
Some members of the Sovereign Citizen movement are considered extremists by the federal government and have been linked to several confrontations with police. Several members of a gang arrested last year following a shootout that left two deputies dead in Louisiana were connected to the movement.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Sarah Anderson, Deseret News
Jill Martin and Steve Almasy, CNN
Aaron Smith, CNN
Ben Oldach, CNN