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Police: LRAD used to arrest ‘sovereign’ citizens in highway standoff

A long-range acoustic device (LRAD) helped disable and apprehend nine Rise of the Moors suspects, police said


Police work in the area of an hours long standoff with a group of armed men that partially shut down interstate 95, Saturday, July 3, 2021, in Wakefield, Mass.

AP Photo/Michael Dwyer

By Tom Matthews

WAKEFIELD, Mass. — The Wakefield police chief said officers used a sonic boom to disable Rise of the Moors suspects which helped authorities apprehend nine of the 11 individuals.

Wakefield Police Chief Steven Skory provided an update to Town Council Monday night and more details regarding the events that took place during an hours-long standoff between 11 armed men and authorities on Interstate 95 on July 3.

Skory told the council that several Wakefield officers assisted a Massachusetts State Trooper as he came upon two vehicles and 11 armed individuals that were attempting to refuel in the breakdown lane around 1:30 a.m. Saturday morning.

The group of armed individuals, who identify as Moorish Americans and collectively as Rise of the Moors, were traveling from Rhode Island to Maine to train on “private land.” When the trooper asked members of the group to produce licenses for the firearms, members of the group indicated they weren’t licensed or didn’t have copies of licenses on them, and took up the “sovereign attitude that they did not have to adhere by our laws,” according to Skory.

The trooper requested backup and additional state police. Three officers from the Wakefield Police Department responded.

The trooper informed the men, who were dressed in tactical gear and armed with long rifles and handguns, they most likely would be arrested, Skory told the council. Eight individuals then ran into the woods and the regional SWAT team was called in, Skory said.

Interstate 95 was shut down in both the northbound and southbound directions in Wakefield Saturday morning as a hostage negotiation team engaged with the group leader. An additional 150 more officers from Middlesex County responded, Skory said.

Two suspects returned from the woods and were arrested and a perimeter was secured.

When the other six suspects returned from the woods to their vehicles, police decided to attempt to take them into custody, Skory said.

Police then coordinated with the town’s Department of Public Works to position dump trucks outfitted with plows on the highway to deter suspects from attempting to flee, Skory told the council.

Next, the police deployed a high pitch alarm known as an LRAD to take the remaining nine suspects into custody, Skory said.

The police chief described the alarm as an “audible alarm that basically disables someone temporarily.”

[READ: How police are using soundwave technology for crowd control]

There were no injuries to any officers or suspects, he added.

Those arrested are:

  • Jamhal Tavon Sanders Latimer, also known as Jamhal Talib Abdullah Bey, 29, of Providence, Rhode Island.
  • Robert Rodriguez, 21, of the Bronx, New York
  • Wilfredo Hernandez, also known as Will Musa, 23, of the Bronx, New York
  • Alban El Curraugh, 27, of the Bronx, New York
  • Aaron Lamont Johnson, also known as Tarrif Sharif Bey, 29, of Detroit, Michigan.
  • Quinn Cumberlander, 40, of Pawtucket, Rhode Island.
  • Lamar Dow, 34, of the Bronx, New York
  • Conrad Pierre, 29, of Baldwin, New York.

The men were all charged with unlawful possession of a firearm, eight counts; unlawful possession of ammunition; use of body armor in the commission of a crime; possession of a high capacity magazine; improper storage of firearms in a vehicle; and conspiracy to commit a crime.

In addition to the other charges, Hernandez, Johnson, Dow and the juvenile are charged with furnishing a false name to police.

Appearing in Malden District Court last week, a pair of Rise of the Moors members insisted the court had no jurisdiction over them and that Massachusetts state laws did not apply to them as they were arraigned on weapons charges that a judge has warned could lead to a decade in prison.

Two members of the Rise of the Moors group who are currently in custody in Massachusetts are now wanted in Rhode Island on firearms and bail violation charges, authorities said.

The office of Rhode Island Attorney General Peter F. Neronha on Tuesday morning said an arrest warrant had been obtained for 40-year-old Quinn Cumberlander on three counts of providing false identifying information to purchase a firearm.

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