‘Sovereign Citizen’ Sentenced for ‘Deadly Force’ Threats
An antigovernment “sovereign citizen” will spend 40 months in prison for threatening to use “deadly force” to arrest various government officials, including the mayor of Kirkland, Wash.
David Russell Myrland, sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court in Seattle, has made his living for the past 20 years through the unauthorized practice of law and by teaching others how to cheat on their federal income taxes, federal prosecutors said in a sentencing memorandum.
More recently, the 53-year-old man has been involved with a sovereign citizen group called “Assemblies of the Counties,” in Skagit and Pierce counties in western Washington. Generally, sovereigns say they are not subject to most national laws and do not have to pay taxes, a belief that often brings them into conflict with law enforcement authorities. The Assemblies of the Counties has been tied to threats made against Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire and King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg. A so-called “common law jury” involving members of the group recently declared militia leader Francis Schaeffer Cox “not guilty” of felony charges he faces in Alaska. Its ruling has no legal meaning.
Myrland pleaded guilty to the federal charge in August after freely admitting to federal agents that he threatened government officials in the belief that Washington state law allows him to arrest any person he thinks committed a felony.
Further, the sentencing memo said, Myrland believed the “powers of a citizen’s arrest allowed him to force entry to the homes of any ‘felon’ and use any force required, including deadly force, to arrest them,” the court documents say.
Myrland’s close friend and fellow Assemblies of the Counties member is accountant Timothy Garrison, of Mount Vernon, Wash. Garrison pleaded guilty last month to preparing false income tax returns that cheated the U.S. government out of an estimated $2.5 million. He is scheduled to be sentenced in February.