Anti-government Militia Threatens to Kidnap Montana Judge – Calls It a “Citizens Arrest”

KXLH is reporting that an anti-government militia group told MTN news in an email that the group is planning to nab a local judge.

A spokesperson for the militia group, William Wolf, said of the “unorganized” militia’s plans to make a “a citizens’ arrest” of Justice of the Peace Rick West.  The group is upset because their anti-goverment cohort, a tricorn wearing  Internet legend who calls himself “the natural man” is in jail for contempt of court. “This isn’t about vengeance, this is about justice,” Wolf told MTN News.

But the local sheriff is concerned.  “When you start talking about arresting people and kidnapping people, that’s unacceptable and nothing good comes from that,” Sheriff Brian Gootkin said.

The sheriff is right to be worried–for two reasons.

The first, is that this bunch has been organizing.  Last week, they told the Bozeman Chronicle that they had been holding “citizen grand jury meetings” in recent weeks and that they plan on taking out ads in various papers to recruit “jury” members.

 A bunch of anti-government types have been also been following “the Natural Man” Ernie Tertelgte around in court, including former GOP legislator Joel Boniek.  Boniek, like Tertelgte, questioned the credentials of the prosecutor, attorneys, and judge, which seems to be some kind of standard “sovereign citizen” hokum.

The second reason the sheriff is worried has to do with what’s happened in the past when threats like this are made.  In 2011, six members of the antigovernment group known as the Alaska Peacemakers Militia, including the group’s leader, Schaeffer Cox, were arrested and charged with plotting to kill or kidnap state troopers and a Fairbanks judge.

In fact, FBI investigation into the plot was prompted by a right-wing conference in here Montana that featured speeches by those involved in the plot.

Media Matters reported on the Montana angle of the story.  Cox was a featured speaker at the Celebrating Conservatism convention (also called the Liberty Convention), where he bragged in front of the audience about commanding a 3,500 strong armed militia and creating a new court system to supplant federal courts.

Media Matters wrote that according to court documents, the “FBI agents began investigating Cox following a series of speeches he gave in Montana in 2009 and 2010.”

You can read more here about the specifics of Shaeffer Cox’s plot.   Cox earlier identified himself as a “sovereign citizen.” The “Natural Man” Tertelgte and his supporters also echo the rhetoric of “Posse Comitatus” and  Sovereign Citizen Movement.

Former GOP legislator Joel Boniek, who has been following the Natural Man around in court and sticking up for him in the press, is no stranger to courtroom fracases himself.  He was hauled into court last year to answer charges that he’d sped through a roadblock in defiance of an officer’s order to keep out. Boniek was trying to get to his house, but his house was in an area where a forest fire was burning and had been evacuated and blocked off due to the emergency. As a devoted Tea Partier and general wingnut, Boniek did not recognize the authority of the policeman to keep him away from his private property. Also, during his encounter with the officer before he crashed the barrier, Boniek allegedly reached for a gun that he had with him in the front seat. As the Livingston Enterprise reported, he:

“allegedly argued with the officers and eventually ‘dropped his left hand near what looked like a holster’ before a deputy brought him to the ground….The deputy removed a loaded handgun from the holster, according to court documents.”

For his day in court, Boniek brought with him an angry mob of supporters, who shouted down the Judge and Prosecutor in such a menacing way that they fled the courtroom fearing for their safety. At that point, Boniek stood up and proclaimed himself regent over the courtroom, and decreed himself innocent of all the charges (before the bailiff told him otherwise, while brandishing his own weapon).

The Oathkeepers published a defense of former Republican state legislator Joel Boniek on their website, saying the “state-worshipping collectivists and socialists of the press” have gotten Boniek’s story all wrong.



14 Comments on "Anti-government Militia Threatens to Kidnap Montana Judge – Calls It a “Citizens Arrest”"

  1. People – you know why they keep insisting that they are a “unorganized” militia and an “unorganized” group with “no name.” Because this is the language of Ruby Ridge, of the MT Freeman et al.

  2. By the way, what’s Tester up to these days? Mandating logging? giving away public lands for a song? Undermining NEPA? Working with his industry buddies to make sure Keystone is a go?

    Oh, wait, look – a bird! No, a plane! No, it’s the militia! Or the Tea Party!

    You guys do everything except cover our biggest problem: Democrats. How come?

  3. I was involved with the Cox case in Alaska, believe you me if these guys have gotten to the point of Grand Juries and arrest warrants, they are on the downward spiral to prison now we can only hope that happens prior to anybody getting hurt like we were able to do in the Cox case. I grew up in Montana spent my summers on flathead lake by the cherry orchard north of lakeside, it pains me to watch how these folks have infected my home state. I really hope Law enforcement stays on top of these idiots

  4. I think some of these fellas are wearing tricorner hats that are a tad too tight.

    • Koch parasites should be wearing them also, since their BILLIONS have and are being used to BUY elections. The dunce cap would be more appropriate headgear.

  5. Thank you MT Cowgirl for giving me the plot to my next cheesy novel.

  6. If these Neanderthals had brains, they’d be dangerous. But they don’t have any brains and therefore are double dangerous. I worked in a profession that had to deal with Posse Comitatus bozos in the olden days in real estate matters. Most were too stupud[sic] to run any business, were losing land to foreclosure and thought they shouldn’t have to dance the hokey-pokey. They were and are really scary.These meatheads are among those who are all pissed off about the government helping the poor, the disadvantaged, the ill, the disabled and those people without a voice et cetera.

    • This is kind of one of those comments you laugh at and cringe at, both at the same time.

      Thankfully this group is in the super-minority, and that’s probably why they’re so vocal.

      We’ve got a big stir-up over on a author forum I hang out at, mainly because old authors are leaving for feeling they’re not appreciated enough. They feel they’re being trolled or flamed, which is internetspeak for having shit rubbed in their face.

      Well, each time they try to clean it off they often have to fling some of it back on those that put it there, and that just emboldens them to throw more.

      Monkeys do this in zoos a lot, at least when they’re not rolling in it. Elephants at zoos also have lots of feces caked to their backside, in case you’ve noticed.

      Anyways…well, alright, donkeys step in it a lot.

      Anyways, usually if you just ignore them they’ll go away. I mean, even the cash-strapped state newspapers aren’t running this trash. Which probably just proves your point, and this group will have to do something even more outlandish to get attention.

  7. Again, do these Natural Men all wear “Keep on Truckin'” T shirts? If they had the power of cognitive reasoning, the minions would realize that as state legislators, their own ilk are part of hated establishment and should also be kidnapped. I see kinduhvuh Latter-Day Keystone Cops scenario. They could even whack each other on the punkin with billy clubs and perhaps knock a modicum of sense into each other.

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