EDWARD BROWN SENTENCED TO 37 YEARS
CONCORD, NEW HAMPSHIRE: United States Attorney John P. Kacavas announced today that Edward Brown, formerly of Plainfield, NH, who was convicted on all counts after a trial in July of 2009, has been sentenced to an additional 37 years in federal prison.
Edward Brown, and his wife Elaine Brown, were tried and convicted in July, 2009 of the following obstruction and weapons-related charges following a 7-day trial:
• Conspiracy to prevent by force, intimidation or threats, officers of the United States from discharging their duties in carrying out the arrests of Edward Brown and Elaine Brown (Count One);
• Conspiracy to forcibly resist and impede federal law enforcement officers in the discharge of their duties in carrying out the arrests of Edward Brown and Elaine Brown by means including the use of dangerous and deadly weapons (Count Two);
• Carrying and possessing firearms and destructive devices in connection with and in furtherance of crimes of violence (Counts Three, Four);
• Possession of firearms after having been convicted of a felony (Counts Five, Six);
• Obstruction of justice (Counts Seven, Eight);
• Failure to appear for trial (Count Nine - Edward Brown only);
• Failure to appear for sentencing in April 2007 following their convictions on tax and other charges in U.S. District Court in January 2007 (Counts Ten, Eleven).
The sentence imposed today by U.S. District Judge George Z. Singal will run consecutively to the 63 month sentence Mr. Brown is now serving for criminal tax offenses, of which he was convicted in January, 2007, and for which he began serving that sentence on October 4, 2007, the day he and his wife were taken into custody by a team of undercover Deputy U.S. Marshals, after an eight month armed stand-off.
The evidence at trial included testimony of officials including the United States Marshal and Deputy United States Marshals who participated in the effort to take Edward and Elaine Brown into custody after Edward Brown failed to appear for his January 2007 trial, and after both Edward and Elaine Brown violated their bail conditions and failed to appear in Court for their sentencing hearings on April 24, 2007. The Browns were each sentenced in absentia on that date to 63 months in prison on the financial charges.
During the Summer and Fall of 2007, the Browns remained at their fortified Plainfield home, where they received supporters, issued militant and threatening statements, and stockpiled weapons and explosives until their October arrest. As detailed at trial, those weapons included pipe bombs, improvised explosive devices made of gun powder cans with nails and screws taped to the outside, and a large assortment of handguns and rifles, including .50 caliber rifles with night vision scopes that have an effective range of more than one mile.
Previously, some of the Browns’ supporters were charged with and convicted of weapons offenses and other charges relating to the their support of the Browns during the standoff at the Plainfield compound. Jason Gerhard of Brookhaven, New York, and Daniel Riley of Cohoes, New York, were convicted of charges including using and possessing firearms, and in Riley’s case destructive devices, in connection with, and in furtherance of, crimes of violence. Gerhard and Riley were sentenced to 20 and 36 years in prison respectively. Additionally, Cirino Gonzalez of Alice, Texas, was convicted of conspiring to forcibly interfere with the U.S. Marshals Service’s efforts to arrest the Browns, and was sentenced to 96 months in prison.
U.S. Attorney John P. Kacavas stated that this sentence “represents the final chapter in the tale of a dangerously defiant individual, who believes himself to be above the law and whose conduct posed a clear and imminent threat to the public and to law enforcement officers seeking to discharge their lawful duties. As the Court so aptly noted, the defendant is lucky to be a citizen of the United States of America, where he is free to hold unconventional beliefs and free to express those beliefs. However, a free and civil society cannot, and will not, tolerate the type of threatening and dangerous conduct exhibited by the defendant in this case and his sentence is an appropriate, reasonable, and lawful response.”
This case was investigated by the United States Marshals Service with substantial assistance from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives, the Internal Revenue Service, the New Hampshire State Police, the Plainfield, NH Police Department, the Lebanon, NH Police Department, and the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Arnold H. Huftalen and Terry Ollila.