Massachusetts State Police Provide Update on Wakefield Standoff Arrests
More information has been released about the individuals arrested following a standoff with Massachusetts State Police on Saturday, which caused Interstate 95 to be shut down for a time as law enforcement officials sought out the suspects.
The standoff began around 2 a.m. on July 3, when police noticed two cars pulled over on I-95 with hazard lights on after they had apparently run out of fuel. The suspects were said to be “clad in military-style gear with long guns and pistols,” according to State Police Col. Christopher Mason. The suspects ran into the woods, refusing to cooperate with law enforcement. Residents of Wakefield and Reading were advised to shelter in place until the suspects were disarmed and taken into custody.
In a joint statement, Massachusetts State Police and the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office announced Sunday that all 11 males arrested Saturday “refer to themselves as a militia and state that they adhere to ‘Moorish Sovereign Ideology.’”
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, “Moorish sovereign citizens espouse an antigovernment doctrine in which its members claim to be part of a sovereign nation. For some who identify themselves as ‘Moor,’ ‘Moorish’ or something similar, there is a belief that a 1787 treaty (fictitious) between the United States and Morocco grants them immunity from U.S. law.”
“Moorish sovereigns believe their status as members of a sovereign nation imparts immunity from federal, state and local authorities,” the SPLC wrote.
According to state police, the group claimed it was traveling from Rhode Island to Maine to conduct “training.” State police say that although the men were “dressed in military fatigues and body armor and were armed with long guns and pistols,” none of them had a license to carry a firearm.
State police say that troopers have discovered eight firearms so far: three AR-15 rifles, two pistols, a bolt-action rifle, and a short barrel rifle. They have also identified the following suspects arrested:
- Jamhal Tavon Sanders Latimer, a.k.a. Jamhal Talib Abdullah Bey, 29, of East Providence, Rhode Island
- Robert Rodriguez, 21, of the Bronx, New York
- Wilfredo Hernandez, a.k.a. Will Musa, 23, of the Bronx, New York
- Alban El Curraugh, 27, of the Bronx, New York
- Aaron Lamont Johnson, a.k.a. Tarrif Sharif Bey, 29, of Detroit, Michigan
- Quinn Cumberlander, 40, of Pawtucket, Rhode Island
- Lamar Dow, 34, of the Bronx, New York
- Conrad Pierre, 29, of Baldwin New York
- A male juvenile, 17
- Two more male suspects who refuse to identify themselves
All suspects are charged with eight counts of unlawful possession of a firearm; unlawful possession of ammunition; use of body armor in the commission of a crime; possession of a high-capacity magazine; improper storage of firearms in a vehicle; and conspiracy to commit a crime. In addition, Hernandez, Johnson and Dow, as well as the juvenile, are charged with giving police a false name.
“Additional charges are possible if the ongoing investigation, including the expected search of the defendants’ two vehicles, determines they are warranted,” state police said.
The adults are being held at the Billerica House of Correction, each on $100,000 cash bail, and will be arraigned next week in Malden District Court. The juvenile will be released into the custody of his parents.