Tangipahoa court cleared following suspicious package left by man claiming to be ‘sovereign citizen’
AMITE, La. (WVUE) - The Tangipahoa Parish Courthouse was reopened Friday (Jan. 20) after being temporarily closed in the morning due to a suspicious package left by an individual the sheriff’s office is very familiar with.
Chief Jimmy Travis confirmed the court was open again by the afternoon after authorities cleared the scene.
“This is an individual that has been in and out of our system for a while and has numerous ongoing domestic cases against him,” Travis said.
Travis said that the sheriff’s office cannot release the identity of the individual at this time but said that his office is very familiar with him and that the clerk recognized him upon entry. The individual has also visited the courthouse numerous times, frequently filing paperwork in an attempt to declare himself a “sovereign citizen”.
The Southern Poverty Law Center describes the Sovereign Citizens Movement as individuals that believe they are not under the jurisdiction of the federal government and consider themselves exempt from U.S. law. The SPLC also says these individuals use a variety of conspiracy theories and falsehoods to justify their beliefs and their activities, some of which are illegal and violent.
Travis also said that the nature of the package was related to the sovereign citizen rhetoric. In the package, were copies of his continued court filings and a binder of full of material that appeared to be somewhat of a manifesto, Travis said.
“Investigators have the binder now and it is considered evidence at this point,” Travis said.
Travis also said that he didn’t review the entirety of the binder’s contents but all materials will be reviewed in full as the matter is still considered an open investigation.
Amite City police, state police, and Homeland Security all responded to the scene.
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