State and Wakefield Police shut Rte. 128 in Wakefield - and ordered Wakefield, Stoneham and Reading residents to shelter in place - after they say a check on two cars in the northbound breakdown lane near Parker Street turned into a standoff between law enforcement and heavily armed members of a Black sovereign-citizen group early this morning.
Around 10:30 a.m., State Police reported all of the men - a total of 11 so far - have been taken into custody. Rte. 128 southbound was re-opened, but the northbound side remained shut as investigators swept the vehicles and the nearby woods for possible weapons and evidence.
The incident began around 2 a.m. State Police reported:
We have several armed persons accounted for at this scene on Rt 95. They are refusing to comply with orders to provide their information and put down their weapons.
Wakefield Police told residents to lock their doors and stay inside:
During a motor vehicle stop, several heavily armed men claiming to be from a group that does not recognize our laws exited their vehicles and fled into the woodline off 128 in the area of Parker Road / Elm Street. Approximately 8 males fled into the woods carrying rifles and handguns and appear to be contained in the wooded area adjacent to the highway.
Two of the "Moorish sovereign citizens" were taken into custody, but the rest remained in the area - and even started livestreaming their side of the issue on YouTube:
Like their White counterparts, Moorish sovereign citizens do not believe the government has any power over them. Unlike the Whites, however, some believe they are the rightful owners of much of the US, in particular the land that was part of the Louisiana Purchase, because they, not Native Americans, are the original settlers of the land.
Last November, a Moorish soverign citizen living in Dorchester was arrested at the Ruggles T stop, allegedly while wearing a bullet-proof vest under a jacket with "Security" written on it and packing a loaded pistol, three spare magazines that were also fully loaded and a knife. His case, in Boston federal court, remains pending.