Authorities in Louisiana have arrested a sovereign citizen they describe as a “domestic extremist” on a weapons-related warrant stemming from a traffic stop in Missouri.
Phillip Anthony Guidry was taken into custody near Robert, La., Ponchatoula Police Chief Bry Layrisson announced this week.
“Guidry is considered a domestic extremist and is self-identified as a sovereign citizen,” Layrisson said. “His ideology is anti local, state and federal government, and he is also a convicted felon.”
Guidry, 48, was booked into the Tangipahoa Parish Jail on the Missouri warrant pending further investigation, the police chief said. Records show that Guidry remained in the Louisiana jail on Friday.
Sovereign citizens believe the government is corrupt and out of control and has no jurisdiction over them. The movement, which The Star profiled in a 2015 series on domestic terrorism, continues to swell, with violent incidents erupting on a regular basis.
Guidry was wanted in Missouri on charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm and for allegedly carrying a concealed weapon in a hidden compartment of his RV while driving through the state, Layrisson told The Star on Friday.
Layrisson said authorities decided to arrest Guidry during a traffic stop in Louisiana because they were concerned about a confrontation if they tried to take him into custody at his home.
“As he was being arrested, he said that he was a sovereign citizen and that he did not have to comply or answer to the United States government,” Layrisson said.
Guidry was not armed at the time of the March 2 arrest and did not resist officers, Layrisson said.
During a search of Guidry’s residence in Loranger, La., after the arrest, authorities seized “an array of firearms” that included a suspected illegal fully-automatic rifle with no serial number, Layrisson said.
The police chief described Guidry’s home as a “fortified residential compound.”
“It was surrounded by a six-foot-tall chain-link fence with razor wire at the top. Three attack dogs — two German shepherds and a Belgian Malinois — were running free within the perimeter, there were cameras throughout the structure and roll-down bulletproof metal shutters over every door and window on the house,” Layrisson said.
Layrisson said Guidry had been under investigation in Louisiana because of his involvement in the sovereign citizen movement. During their investigation, he said, authorities learned that Guidry had been training others to become sovereign citizens.
In addition to the Missouri weapons case, Guidry has now been charged in Louisiana with six weapons violations, Layrisson said.
“And there will be additional counts coming,” he said.
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