NEWMAN LAKE, Wash. – A traffic stop for illegal license plates led to a three hour long standoff Wednesday afternoon.
It happened near E. Kildea and N. Starr Road in Newman Lake just before 2:00 p.m.
Deputies pulled over the truck after noticing it had “sovereign” plates, which are illegal. The truck was also covered in sovereign signs.
Authorities said they took notice because the signs generally signify someone who does not recognize traditional law enforcement. According to the FBI, sovereign citizens not only create fake license plates and money, but they are a growing domestic threat.
“There are sovereign ideology folks all over the area but I can't remember the last time we dealt with a situation like this that it got to this level,” said Deputy Craig Chamberlin.
For nearly three hours, neighbors watched as deputies and SWAT officers tried to get two men out of the truck. Deputies said the men refused to cooperate and would not speak to them. The driver was so uncooperative that authorities had to cut him out of his seat belt.
Even Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich stepped in to try and help, with not luck.
Just before 5:00 p.m., 55-year-old Michael Hicks and 58-year-old David Galland were arrested for obstruction, failure to provide information, and having an invalid license plate.