Nightly News   |  August 23, 2013

Radical US anti-government group linked to murder plot

A sting operation in Las Vegas is getting national attention because the two suspects arrested are part of the “Sovereign Citizen” movement. NBC’s Pete Williams reports.

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>>> a sting operation in las vegas is getting attention because of a alleged plot to kill police officers is part of a nationwide movement that many may not know about called the somber citizens movement and they reject the authority and the courts that will try them. more tonight from our justice correspondent pete williams .

>> reporter: las vegas officials say the plan to detain and kill police officers was hatched by two people who claim police lack the power to make arrests. authorities charged david allen brutsche and devon campbell newman with attempted murder.

>> they were extremist in their believes and plotting to kidnap and kill at least one southern nevada police officer .

>> reporter: investigators say the two planned to follow police on patrol when an officer made a traffic stop the two would take the policeman to a las vegas house where the officer would be tied um and ultimately killed. newman told reporter kiss teen kim of ksnv that she is not violent.

>> i never intended to harm or kidnap anyone.

>> reporter: though she said the police often act without authority.

>> i feel they are going far beyond what the constitution allows.

>> reporter: police say the two were members of an extremist movement called somber citizens. it has 100,000 followers nationwide who believe what most of the government does is illegitimate. a routine stop of a minivan three years ago the turned violent when a follower jumped out an started shooting. when it was over two officers were killed.

>> the sovereign believes are so loopy that a small percentage cannot control themselves and resort to violence against the police or local authorities .

>> reporter: the fbi says most sovereign citizens are not violent, many charged with tax evasion like -- sentenced to prison.

>> you can be a u.s. citizen or an american but not both. it is impossible.

>> reporter: the two appeared in court challenging its authority. both remain in jail until a court hearing in two weeks. pete williams , nbc news, washington.