Ed and Elaine Brown have been holed up in their Plainfield, NH house for months, daring federal law enforcement to bother them. While normally that’s not a problem, since I don’t want federal law enforcement to bother me at home either, Ed and Elaine Brown have been not only convicted of federal crimes, but also sentenced to prison for those crimes. They have also repeatedly referred to the outcome of any attempt to take them into custody as another “Waco”, and have openly stated that they will kill anyone who tries to take them into lawful custody. Now, that’s a problem.
Elaine is a very successful dentist (or at least she was, until all this happened). Ed is usually described as a “retired exterminator”. Basically, he lives off his wealthy wife, which I guess is nice work if you can get it. However, if Ed and Elaine Brown were young financially disadvantaged African-Americans, they’d have been toast long ago. See, my problem with this situation has nothing to do with the Browns’ convictions per se – and in fact, the nature of their conviction is irrelevant to me – but rather my concern is that everyone is supposed to be equal under the law. Obviously, though, that is not the case.
This whole mess started years ago, when Ed and Elaine decided there was no law which requires them to pay federal income taxes. So, they didn’t, and quite predictably the IRS came a-knockin’. They had failed to file or pay taxes on over $1.3 million in income, and refused to pay or even discuss payment when the government demanded its money, so they were criminally prosecuted. They then tried to buy their way out of trouble by offering to pay the back taxes, but it was too late.
About halfway through the trial, Ed decided he wasn’t going to show up for court anymore. Elaine stayed out a day, then decided to return to the trial. Ed was convicted in absentia of failure to file taxes, and Elaine was convicted of 17 counts of tax crimes. It appears Elaine got into a lot more trouble because, after all, she was the breadwinner.
Following conviction, the judge released Elaine to the custody of her son pending sentencing, with an ankle bracelet, based on her assurance that she had no intention of returning to the Plainfield house as long as Ed was there. The judge issued an arrest warrant for Ed, since he had skipped out on the trial.
The US Marshal Service, instead of arresting Ed like they were ordered to do by the court, decided to just talk to him on the phone from time to time. Eventually Elaine broke the terms of her release, cut off her ankle bracelet, and joined Ed at their house, which is completely self-sufficient and where, it is claimed, they have stockpiled food, weapons, etc. They apparently don’t even need electricity, since they use solar panels. That’s normally very cool, unless of course you have two fugitives hiding out there. Then, it’s a problem. Needless to say, at that point the judge issued an arrest warrant for Elaine as well.
Ed has been threatening people constantly throughout this situation. He has a militia called the “Constitution Rangers” and they have been more than happy to help him threaten others, including the judge, the prosecutor, and even the jury members. Some have gone so far as to say these people have committed treason, and therefore are subject to hanging without trial. Despite all this, for some strange reason understood only in BizarroWorld, the US Marshal Service still has not arrested Ed and Elaine Brown, although they know exactly where they are. They even let people visit the Browns as if nothing is wrong, if you can believe that.
This week, Ed and Elaine Brown were sentenced to five years, three months each in federal prison. They didn’t show up for that, either. And still, the US Marshal Service has not arrested Ed and Elaine Brown.
Here’s the problem as I see it. Pretend you don’t know Ed and Elaine are millionaires, and ignore the basis of their conviction. Pretend instead that they were, for example, a middle-class couple convicted of federal drug crimes for growing medical marijuana for personal use. Do you really think the feds would just let them say, “look, I don’t accept your authority, so I’m just going to stay here at home; and if you try to come and get me, I’m going to kill a bunch of people, including you”? Not only no, but hell no. They’d have busted through that convicted felon’s door long before the thought was even completed.
Yet, they haven’t done that with Ed and Elaine. Instead, they just keep calling them on the phone from time to time, encouraging them to turn themselves in. Problem is, they’re never going to turn themselves in, because one, they don’t think they did anything wrong, and two, they don’t think the US government has any jurisdiction over them.
What makes Ed and Elaine Brown so special that they are deserving of treatment no other similarly situated person would ever receive? Honestly, I have no idea. After all, there is indeed a law which requires the payment of federal income taxes, so it’s irrelevant to their conviction whether the Browns accept the law. Furthermore, according to the sentencing memorandum, they aren’t even nice people. It appears Elaine’s old receptionist had a husband who was taught some kind of gun trick in a seminar held by Ed, and when trying to do the trick, ended up accidentally killing himself. When the receptionist could not longer work for Elaine (quite understandably, given what happened) Elaine even fought her on her unemployment. Obviously, while Elaine may look like a sweet old lady, she’s not nice at all, and in fact is quite cold-hearted. So why has the US Marshal Service not taken them into custody?
Sure, they’re in their 60s, but they’re also spending their spare time threatening people right and left. Well, to be fair, Ed doesn’t call it threats. He calls it warnings, but in reality it’s the same thing. In fact, he spends quite a bit of time not only threatening to kill people, but explaining how the Bible instructs him to kill people. Religious fanatics who take the Old Testament that literally are always a problem.
Ed and Elaine also recently filed documents with the court, pretending to be the court and dismissing their own cases, which was signed with their first name only, followed by “a Living Soul, in the Body of the Lord, of the House of Israel”. They learned that brain fart from some weirdo named Sonny, who converted them to his cult …. er, I mean, non-denominational church. Obviously, this is a problem, because it means that Ed and Elaine are never, ever going to surrender no matter how many times the Marshal Service calls them. They think our laws do not apply to them, and that only the Old Testament applies to them. Unfortunately, they also think the Old Testament is telling them to kill people, and they make no secret of this belief. That’s a problem.
There is yet another problem. While the Browns have some vocal supporters, mostly on the internet, there is an even larger number of detractors who think this situation is pure unadulterated bullshit. They have a legitimate concern, too, in that failing to take these people into custody has resulted in increases danger for everyone involved, including the neighbors as well as the people that Ed’s militia has threatened to kill; and it sets a very bad precedent by proving beyond any doubt that the law concerning sentenced felons and fugitives from justice is not, in fact, applied equally as required. Ed and Elaine were found guilty on a total of 18 federal crimes by a jury, yet they’re being treated as if they are exempt from the laws which the rest of us must follow.
Ed and Elaine should be treated the same as any other convicted, sentenced felon who is openly threatening the lives of others. It’s time to stop this injustice against all Americans, with the feds treating rich white people differently than they’d treat anyone else who was doing the same thing. Take off the kid gloves, and put Ed and Elaine Brown in prison, where a jury decided they should be when they found them guilty.