Eleven people armed with long guns and dressed in tactical gear who claimed to be a part of group called “Rise of the Moors” were arrested following an hours-long standoff with Massachusetts police over the weekend.
Police said they found heavily armed men in two vehicles near Interstate 95 around 1:30 a.m. on Saturday. A nine-hour standoff ensued before all 11 were arrested. No one was harmed in the incident.
Freddy Cruz, a research analyst at Southern Poverty Law Center who tracks anti-government groups, said Rise of the Moors is classified as a sovereign citizen, antigovernment group.
All 11 men arrested in Wakefield have been charged with unlawful possession of a firearm, unlawful possession of ammunition, use of body armor in commission of a crime, possession of a high capacity magazine, improper storage of firearms in a vehicle and conspiracy to commit a crime, police said. Hernandez, Johnson, Dow and the unnamed teen are also being charged with providing a false name to police, authorities said.
The teenager was released to parental custody while the 10 adults are being held at the Billerica House of Correction on $100,000 cash bail, authorities said.
On Tuesday, in Malden District Court, most of the men rejected the charges against them and most said they’d represent themselves. The court entered not guilty pleas on their behalf, according to MassLive.