VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – Two people identifying as “sovereign citizens” were arrested in Volusia County after a weekend traffic stop, according to the sheriff’s office.
Deputies released body-camera video of the traffic stop and arrests on Wednesday. The video can be seen in the media player above. A word of warning, the video contains explicit language and may be offensive to some viewers.
The video opens with two sheriff’s deputies stopped at a traffic light on Saturday behind a blue Ford F-150, which they noticed did not have the proper license plate or registration. Records show the deputies spotted the truck at the intersection of Howland and Catalina boulevards.
The video picks up after the truck has been pulled over in the parking lot of a gas station. One of the deputies is then seen in the video approaching the driver — Destry Wogerman, 58 — who is heard on the phone with another person during the stop.
According to an arrest affidavit, the deputy asked Wogerman for his license and registration, but the driver instead handed over a stack of papers. The person on the phone, only identified as Michelle, can be heard on the video telling Wogerman that he does not need to provide any information to the deputies. Michelle also addresses the deputies telling them that they do not have the authority to question Wogerman.
“He is not under your jurisdiction,” Michelle can be heard saying in the video.
The deputy then addresses Michelle over the phone.
“Ma’am, if he refuses to identify himself in this traffic stop it is going to be an issue,” the deputy is heard saying in the video.
“Sir, he is identifying as a national of the neutral power states,” the woman can be heard responding. “As you know, that removes him from your jurisdiction.”
Shortly after this exchange, more deputies can be seen in the video arriving on scene. At this point, the deputy takes the papers Wogerman had handed him and returns to his cruiser.
The deputy then ran the vin number of the pickup and found that it was last registered to a woman and that the tags had expired in 2022, according to the affidavit.
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The deputy then asked Wogerman to provide his date of birth, which the driver refused to provide, according to the sheriff’s office. The driver was then removed from his truck and placed under arrest.
After Wogerman was arrested, deputies said a woman — Laralynne Michelle Nabozny, 43 — arrived at the scene and demanded to speak with her husband, Wogerman. Investigators said Nobozny was told she could speak with Wogerman if she stepped out of her truck, which she refused to do.
Deputies said Nabozny then pulled her truck right next to the cruiser where Wogerman had been placed.
Investigators said Nabozny was then ordered out of her vehicle but she refused and deputies shattered her driver’s side window in order to remove her from the truck. The body-camera video shows the woman being pulled from the truck and taken to the ground. One deputy can be seen jumping into the driver’s seat to prevent the truck from rolling to a deputy cruiser.
The affidavit shows Nabozny attempted to pull away from them several times and stomped on a deputy’s foot several times as she was arrested and searched.
Wogerman faces charges of driving an unregistered motor vehicle, driving with a suspended/revoked license and resisting an officer without violence.
Nabozny faces charges of battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting an officer with violence.
What is a ‘sovereign citizen?’
According to the Anti-Defamation League, the Sovereign Citizen Movement dates back to the 1970s.
The ADL identifies sovereign citizens as being part of an anti-government movement with varying ideologies; however, at its core the movement believes that the U.S. government is not legitimate because of the Federal Reserve Act of 1933.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, sovereign citizens believe that the removal of the gold standard for U.S. currency allowed the federal government to use citizens as collateral to back the dollar.
Those identifying as sovereign citizens claim that by taking part in several convoluted legal filings, they are able to free themselves from the jurisdiction of the federal and local governments, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
There is no central group in the Sovereign Citizen Movement, but rather multiple groups espousing variations of the ideology exist across the country.
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