Squatters have staked their claim on land in Arkansas, claiming that they are part of a sovereign citizen group known to have engaged in violent confrontations with law enforcement.
In a press release, Sharp County Sheriff Shane Russell said that the investigation into the squatters began in August 2023.
Authorities said that they were alerted to a couple who moved into an RV and an “enclosed property” owned by someone else.
The pair allegedly built a permanent structure, dug a septic line, installed solar panels and began storing large amounts of water.
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Sheriff Russell said that law enforcement confronted the couple about their squatting and served a number of notice of evictions.
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Despite threatening the pair with eviction notices, the pair refused to leave their RV setup.
The two individuals said they were members of a sovereign citizen group known as the Moorish National Republic.
Police said the two provided law enforcement with a false legal document claiming the ground was sovereign property and said they could not be forced to leave.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, people in the Moorish National Republic have come into conflict with federal and state authorities over their refusal to obey laws and government regulations.
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On Thursday, Jan. 25, a large group of law enforcement executed a search warrant on the squatters and arrested the two individuals without incident.
Authorities said that the pair initially refused to identify themselves, but that the male suspect identified himself as Saleem Yosiyah YisraEl.
Authorities said that they found multiple vehicles on the property with “fictitious license plates.”
Along with the illegal vehicles, authorities found evidence of illegal scams that the pair were conducting from the RV.
The scam involved the Postal Service and several thousand dollars of Iraqi currency, police said.
Authorities concluded that the FBI is investigating the alleged fraudulent documentation and cybercrimes.
Original article source: Arkansas squatters stake claim on land, says it belongs to them since they are part of exclusive group: police