Sovereign Citizens: Radicals Exercising 'God-Given Rights' or Fueling Domestic Terrorism?


"It was the most horrible, horrific day of my life," Paudert said. "I've never experienced any kind of pain like that and still in pain."

Paudert said before that day he had never heard of sovereign citizens, and now he travels the country to teach local law enforcement officials about them, he says, "from militia members in Alaska accused of threatening to execute judges to black sovereigns in Atlanta who use the ideology to justify occupying foreclosed homes."

He added that he sees a common progression toward lethal violence.

"Once they get into the sovereign program and they don't have to pay the mortgage on the house, you know, they don't have to have the cars licensed, they feel a burden has been lifted," Paudert said. "But when they find out they do have to go by the laws of the land and they start getting traffic citations, they become mad and angry at law enforcement."

Back in Alabama, Donald Joe Barber and his son will go to trial in June and could face decades in prison. Even still, Barber said he has no regrets.

"Just as a soldier goes over to Iraq or to Iran or any other country to fight a battle, he is going over there because he loves his country. I can't do any less," he said.

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