Marshals Arrest Four in Connection With Controversial Tax Case

Sep 13, 2007 1:21pm

U.S. marshals today arrested four people for allegedly supplying food and other assistance to a controversial New Hampshire couple who have been holed up in their home since January after refusing to surrender on federal tax evasion charges. The arrests on charges ranging from obstructing justice to aiding and abetting followed indictments issued by a federal grand jury in Concord, N.H., that were made public today. The four arrests were made without incident. A recent recruit to the U.S. Army, 22-year-old Jason Gerhart was arrested at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., where he is believed to have been in or recently completed boot camp. As he was being arrested, another team of police and federal agents raided his home in New York. Gerhart had been spotted bringing food and other supplies to the couple, law enforcement sources said. The other arrests took place in Albany, N.Y.,  Texas and Vermont.    During a preliminary search of Gerhart’s Long Island home, U.S. marshals found a pipebomb and a hand grenade, police said. ATF and Suffolk County bomb squad members followed up Thursday on the alleged seizures and conducted a more detailed search today. Click Here for Full Blotter Coverage. The Marshal Service has been conducting surveillance on the New Hampshire home of Ed and Elaine Brown since January. The couple are part of a fringe movement that believes federal income taxes are unconstitutional.    Federal agents have not moved to arrest the couple because authorities say they pose no immediate danger to others, and law enforcement did not want a repeat of another potentially fatal shoot out, like the ones at Ruby Ridge, Idaho, or the David Koresh compound in Waco, Texas. Ed Brown has threatened to kill law enforcement officers, the U.S. marshals said. According to a statement issued by the U.S. Marshal Service: "Cirino ‘Reno’ Gonzales, 30, of Alice, Texas; Daniel Riley, 40, of Albany, New York; Jason Gerhard, 22, of Brookhaven, New York, and Robert Wolffe, 50, of Randolph, Vermont, are now in U.S. Marshals custody, and face charges that range from Accessory After the Fact (aiding and abetting) to Possession and Use of a Firearm in Relation to a Crime of Violence. The indictments allege that each of these men has helped obstruct justice in the Brown case. Officials believe that at certain times, the men participated in various efforts to assist the Browns in avoiding justice at their rural home in western New Hampshire; and conspired to impede federal agents." New Hampshire marshal Stephen Monier said in the statement, "In this case, these men are alleged to have helped the Browns in their ongoing refusal to surrender to authorities. The Browns have engaged in a course of conduct that has led to further criminal investigations into their activity. Anyone who aids the Browns is subject to investigation, arrest and prosecution for serious felonies, which carry very heavy prison sentences." Click Here to Register to Receive Blotter Alerts.

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