Several members of the "Rise of the Moors," a group that does not identify with U.S. laws, were combative and chaotic during court arraignments Wednesday.
Ten men and one 17-year-old were arrested Saturday, and Massachusetts law enforcement seized firearms after the group was seen donning tactical gear off I-95. They were brought into custody after an hourslong standoff that involved the suspected militia fleeing "into the woods carrying rifles and handguns," police said.
Conrad Pierre, 29, of New York, sparred with a judge about obtaining an attorney after he said he does not fall within the jurisdiction of U.S. laws. After minutes of back and forth, he was assigned a lawyer.
Another man, referred to as John Doe No. 2, has refused to identify himself to the court, and authorities ordered him to reveal his name by Friday. On Tuesday, several others entered the proceedings and demonstrated similar behaviors. All have since been held without bail.
The initial standoff began around 1:30 a.m. Saturday when a state police trooper observed two vehicles stopped on the side of I-95. Upon further inspection, he discovered the group of armed suspected militants who said they were traveling from Rhode Island to Maine for "training."
The "Rise of the Moors" members were captured on video insisting they were not anti-government.
"It's disrespectful to our current armed servicemen and women, and the fact that you're allowing the media to portray us as anti-government after I expressed to you multiple times were not anti-government, it's violating my trust with you guys," the man said.
State Police Col. Christopher Mason confirmed the conversation at the time of the arrests.
“Their self-professed leader wanted very much known their ideology is not anti-government," he said. "Our investigation will provide us more insight into what their motivation, what their ideology is.”
All arrestees face weapons charges as open-carry possession of firearms is permitted in Massachusetts only with licenses granted by state authorities. Members of the group allegedly failed to produce Firearms Identification Cards, which allow residents of the state to lawfully possess guns.
At least eight firearms and several hundred rounds of ammunition were recovered.
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Original Author: Jake Dima