A day after he was convicted of evading taxes, Ed Brown of Plainfield, N.H., said he has no animosity toward the police who he said forced him to retreat inside his fortresslike home. But Brown also said he is nowhere near ready to surrender and warned that police who uphold unconstitutional laws may force the country into revolt.
“I see this country going to guerrilla warfare. Total war,” the 64-year-old Brown said Friday during a phone interview with the Sun Journal. Brown called the newspaper asking to speak with a reporter, noting he had received supportive mail from some of its readers who have been following his case.
“All I’m here to do is to get everyone to obey the law. I’m only here to help. This is the last choice we’re going to give everybody,” Brown said.
On Thursday, a jury found Brown and his wife, Elaine, guilty of plotting to hide $1.9 million in income from 1996 to 2003 to avoid taxes. Prosecutors have said most of the money involved came from Elaine Brown’s career as a dentist. Ed Brown was a consultant in the extermination business.
Ed Brown has spent most of the trial barricaded inside his hilltop home, armed and with declarations that he will defend his 110-acre property – to the death – if necessary.
“Isn’t that what everyone should do?” he said without a pause.
Plainfield is a town of about 400 located about 10 miles south of Lebanon, N.H., near the Vermont border.
Elaine Brown was said to be staying with a relative in Massachusetts.
In his view, the government’s attempt to extract income taxes is against the law. And Ed Brown said he does not want to disobey the law.
“We have offered to pay those income taxes every year for 12 years,” he said. “They just don’t want to give us the law that says we have to pay them.”
Brown was calm but spirited, as he talked about his years of work with anti-government groups who want to raise awareness about what they say is the unconstitutionality of the income tax system.
He stopped attending his trial last week. When he was convicted Thursday, he said he was not surprised. By Friday, although no police had shown up to arrest him, Brown acknowledged that it could happen at any time. A warrant has been issued charging him with failure to appear in U.S. District Court in Concord.
And although he was prepared to defend himself, he insists he has no hostility toward the police. His brother-in-law was a cop in Los Angeles for 20 years, Brown said. Most of his best friends were state troopers.
“They were my friends. I would have died for these guys,” he said. “No more.”
On May 24, 2006, it was the police who arrested and booked the Browns. It was the beginning of the end for a man who has always believed the laws of the nation to be unconstitutional.
“What they did to me and my wife that day, I cried,” he said. “It’s like my brother came into my house, raped my wife and children, stole all my money and left. That’s what I feel like. I feel real dirty.”
Throughout the last part of the trial, Brown has communicated with police mostly through U.S. Marshal Gary DiMartino. Brown said he feels sorry for DiMartino because the marshal is being forced to uphold unconstitutional laws.
“He’s caught in the middle,” Brown said. “He’s got his job to do, I’ve got mine. My job is to save the nation. His job is to help the other side destroy it… Frankly, I’d like to see this thing go away so we could go fishing or maybe play some golf.”
Over past decades, Brown has claimed membership in several groups, including the Constitution Rangers of the Continental Congress of 1777, the Constitution Defense Militia and the UnAmerican Activities Investigations Commission.
The U.S. Marshals Service so far has insisted they do not plan to escalate the standoff with Ed Brown. But even before his case became national and international news, Brown has said the use of police force to uphold irrelevant laws is forcing the country to a state of chaos. Some will revolt. Others will leave. Brown said he and other militia members, who have formed Project Exodus, will be among them.
“If they don’t run the country properly, the way it’s supposed to be run, then millions of us are leaving…. You want to be slaves? You go right ahead. We’ve got some other countries interested in us. They like our ideas.”
To the police of the nation, he said: “I know you just want to work for your retirement, but pay attention to what’s going on around you. You point your guns, you crash through their houses, you scare people to death … The whole world is waking up. We know who the enemy is.”
Brown spoke to the Sun Journal for more than 10 minutes Friday afternoon. His telephone beeped regularly during the conversation as others tried to call. He said he was aware that his standoff with police and the government was becoming bigger news by the minute.
But, he said: “I don’t care about my case. I’m not interested in my case, only the truth.”
Brown said he was told that groups of supporters were staying on the property around his home. But for a week, Brown has not left his cement-walled house with a watchtower that offers 360-degree views of the area around him. The home is equipped to generate electricity through solar panels and batteries if cut off from the main grid.
Brown said he was comfortable, calm and content.
“I could stay here for a hundred years.”