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Man who calls himself a 'freeborn Sovereign' accused in central Minnesota of possessing pound of meth

A St. Cloud man is facing aggravated first-degree drug sale and drug possession charges after Chippewa County law enforcement authorities allegedly found a pound of methamphetamine, a handgun and a wad of cash during a traffic stop.

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MONTEVIDEO — A St. Cloud man alleged to have been in possession of one pound of methamphetamine and a firearm is facing felony charges in Chippewa County.

Brandon Stuart Moore, 50, appeared earlier this month in Chippewa County District Court on charges of aggravated first-degree drug sale, aggravated first-degree drug possession and ineligible possession of a firearm.

His next court date is scheduled for Feb. 28. He was ordered held on bail of $250,000 cash or bond.

When a Chippewa County sheriff’s deputy attempted to pull him over in Granite Falls on Jan. 24, Moore continued driving, according to court records. Moore eventually pulled into the entrance of the Granite Falls Energy ethanol plant near Granite Falls.

The deputy and a Granite Falls police officer approached the vehicle, according to the criminal complaint, and they said a marijuana smell was coming from the vehicle.

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Brandon Stuart Moore.jpg
Brandon Stuart Moore

Moore did not obey the peace officers’ commands and refused to keep his hands up.

Moore was arrested, and when he was searched, officers found two baggies weighing 6.4 grams and 0.5 grams containing a substance that tested positive for methamphetamine.

A search of the vehicle yielded a pound of methamphetamine, which is about 453 grams, in the vehicle’s glove box, along with a 9mm handgun. In the center console, officers found $3,400 cash in a rubber band, according to the complaint.

Authorities identified Moore by his fingerprints and found he has two previous drug convictions, in 2004 and 2011.

While he was still in his vehicle, Moore had told the peace officers that he had committed no crime, that they needed to leave him alone and that he was traveling, according to the complaint.

He said “that he doesn’t respect law enforcement authority, that he doesn’t operate under the uniform commercial code and that he was a private entity talking about the constitution,” according to the criminal complaint.

More by Linda Vanderwerf:

At his first court appearance, Moore filed a notarized 10-page document with the court that further explained his views. The “Affidavit of Truth” he filed says that he is a “natural, freeborn Sovereign. ... I am neither subject to any entity anywhere, nor is any entity subject to me. I neither dominate anyone, nor am I dominated.”

He has since filed a 16-page handwritten document as an addendum to the first affidavit and speaks of retaining his common law rights.

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The FBI considers the sovereign citizen movement an extremist movement with anti-government and anti-tax beliefs, according to its website. Its members believe they do not have to answer to government authority and they can choose which laws to obey and which to ignore, according to the FBI.

In 42 years in the newspaper industry, Linda Vanderwerf has worked at several daily newspapers in Minnesota, including the Mesabi Daily News, now called the Mesabi Tribune in Virginia. Previously, she worked for the Las Cruces Sun-News in New Mexico and the Rapid City Journal in the Black Hills of South Dakota. She has been a reporter at the West Central Tribune for nearly 27 years.

Vanderwerf can be reached at email: lvanderwerf@wctrib.com or phone 320-214-4340
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