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Forum staff reports, Published February 15 2013

Minot man claims to be ‘sovereign’ in arrest

FARGO – A Minot man is facing charges of obstruction of justice after a traffic stop Tuesday in which he told a police officer he “was a member of the sovereign nation” and that the officer was not allowed to detain or harass him.

Court documents state James Allen Siegrist, 32, was stopped by a police officer about 12:08 p.m. Tuesday in the 3200 block of Fiechtner Drive on suspicion of reckless driving.

When the officer asked to see his license, Siegrist refused, saying he was a member of the sovereign nation and putting his hands in his lap as if he was reaching for something.

The officer then drew his pistol, and Siegrist locked himself in the car. He was arrested when the woman in the car unlocked it after officers ordered her out.

Siegrist continued to tell officers they were not allowed to harass or detain him, and refused to identify himself. Authorities allege they found a small bag of methamphetamine during a search of Siegrist at the jail, according to documents.

Siegrist was charged in Cass County District Court on Wednesday with possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia, both Class C felonies. Bail was set at $10,000.

He also faces in Fargo Municipal Court of charges of obstructing a peace officer, reckless driving and driving under suspension, all misdemeanors.