January 8, 2018 Posted by Daryl Johnson in Sovereign Citizen Movement

GRAND JUNCTION, [CO]--The attorney representing a Grand Junction anti-government zealot accused of attempting to defraud the federal government and various financial institutions described her client's actions as part of a quasi-religious belief system this week in federal court. Grand Junction resident Rocky Hutson was indicted on multiple fraud-related counts by a federal grand jury in June 2016, and took his case to trial this week. Federal investigators believe Hutson — who in 2014 was barred from running for Mesa County sheriff because of a felony theft conviction — filed multiple claims with the U.S. Department of Agriculture in an effort to get the department to pay personal debts for himself and several acquaintances over several months in 2011 and 2012. Hutson is also accused of writing bad checks for large amounts of money. Carbondale-based defense attorney Ashley Petrey told federal jurors during opening statements Wednesday that Hutson, who adheres to the "sovereign citizen" ideology, was participating in a "ritual" that's accepted among those who share his beliefs. Members of the sovereign citizen movement generally don't recognize federal or state government authority. View More>>

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