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‘Sovereign citizen’ gets 40-year sentence

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A self-identified sovereign citizen was sentenced last week to 40 years in prison for felony convictions of kidnapping and intimidation of a witness.

Martin Jonassen, 57, of Elwood, Kansas, was arrested by Portage Police after he tried to physically drag his 21-year-old daughter from a liquor store where she had fled, nude, from a hotel room Jonassen had rented.

Jonassen had taken his daughter from Missouri with the intent to take her to Michigan. The U.S. attorney’s office for the Northern District of Indiana said after Jonassen was arrested he engaged in “a relentless campaign of calls and letters in which he employed manipulation and persuasion to try to get (his daughter) to retract her statements to law enforcement.” A jury convicted Jonassen last year.

During 15 months in custody prior to sentencing, Jonassen used a common tactic of people who identify themselves as sovereign citizens, flooding the court with more than 180 frivolous, sometimes harassing pro se motions

Senior District Judge James Moody imposed the 480-month sentence to be followed by five years of supervised release.








 

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