Mary Ann Morgan, a resident of Kenai, Alaska, was charged with being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, according to the criminal complaint. She had been convicted in 2001 of interfering with a child custody agreement and finished serving probation in 2003, but under Alaska law is still forbidden from ever possessing a firearm.
The Joint Terrorism Task Force of the FBI is investigating the incident, which occurred on October 27 at the Alaska Highway border crossing into Canada. According to the complaint, Morgan was trying to cross over, and declared to the Canadian Border Security Agency that she was in possession of a firearm. During a subsequent search of her car, authorities found a .32 Caliber Beretta handgun and she was turned over to American border agents and Alaska State Troopers.
Morgan's ties to the Alaska militia movement run pretty deep. For one thing, she has reportedly been a frequent poster on the Google forum for the Alaska Citizens Militia. The group was started by Norm Olson, who the Southern Poverty Law Center reports also started the Michigan Militia, though he was kicked out after touting this theory about the Oklahoma City bombing: "The Japanese government had bombed the federal building there as a return favor for the sarin gas subway attack that he said the U.S. government carried out in Tokyo."
In her postings, Morgan has referred to President Obama as "the illegal in the White House," and praised Schaeffer Cox as "a man with much Godly Wisdom."
Cox, the leader of the Alaska Peacemakers Militia and a sovereign citizen in his own right, was arrested in March for allegedly stockpiling weapons in a plot to kill several state officials. Prior to his arrest, Cox put himself on trial in a common-law court, after he received a misdemeanor weapons charge for failing to notify a police officer that he was carrying a concealed weapon. Cox skipped out on his February court date because he didn't believe the court had the authority to arrest him, and was eventually arrested as part of the larger FBI investigation into the plot.
In February, before Cox's more recent arrest, Morgan described on the ACM forum how she went to Fairbanks to participate in Cox's 17-juror trial common-law trial, which was held in the back of a Denny's (typos are hers):
We called for the Court in local establishement. We sent "legal" papers to everyone involved. We demanded everyone be there, from the "judge" to the "cop". No one from the "legal" side showed up. The cowards. We called over 100 people to come take part in a Constitutional trial. We had both a Judge, and a notarary (who is the highest authority",even over a judge). We had 17 people who responded by wanting to be jurors. We had another 25-30 people there who came only to watch. witnesses gave their testimonies. Jurors were allowed to ask questions of the witnesses, and of Schaeffer, and of the Judge. We read the entire law Schaeffer is being accused under, not merely a phrase of it.
"For over 4 hours we all experienced a true court," Morgan continued. "A court done the way our forefathers envisioned it to be. It was the most beautiful event I have ever witnessed in my life. It is sad that so many of you missed it."
In another post from October 15, Morgan described a confrontation with law enforcement that seemed to portend future confrontations in the courts:
I had a couple of local harassers stop me earlier this summer, they did so totally against the Constitution as well as many laws. I refused to roll my window down until they threatened to break it with their clubs. (find that law!) then when they gave me their filthy ticket, my hand was over the window, the male started to draw his gun and demanded I put my hand back inside, I refused until he told me why I had to put my hand back inside, "because I was jeopardising their safety".... I can hardly wait to see how that one comes out in court!
When asked whether this was the same Morgan that was arrested, Olson told TPM: "Whether she is, or is not, a member of the ACM is irrelevant. I'm sure that the folks at Homeland Security and the Joint Terrorism Task Force will create a story that will steer the sheeple to accept the 'undeniable' link."
But he told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner that though he's never met the Morgan who posts on the message board in person, he believes they are one in the same. But, he said he was confused by the incident and believed Morgan actually wanted to be arrested. "If you want to be arrested by the federals, why not go to the border with a firearm?" he said.
"She is smarter than that. She knows the risks and the dangers of keeping out of the federal government, especially the border," Olson told the Alaska Dispatch. "The whole thing doesn't make any sense."
There is also a Mary Morgan listed as a contact for the secessionist Alaska Independence Party, and though it's unclear if it's the same Morgan, according to the reverse phone-lookup site spokeo.com, the phone number listed in based in Kenai.
Morgan was arraigned Tuesday, and the Alaska Dispatch reports she refused to give the court her name.
Last week, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported on four Cox-linked sovereign citizens in Washington, also members of his Denny's jury, who are being investigated on various fraud charges and allegations that they threatened to abduct officials.
The state dismissed all of the charges against Cox and four other members of his Alaska Peacemakers Militia, including conspiracy to commit murder, after the court threw out recordings and surveillance taken by confidential informants for the FBI. Four of the five are still being held on federal charges, but Michael O. Anderson was released.