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November 25, 2014

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After officer’s testimony, judge rules Sovereign Citizens will stand trial

Metro officer details five-month undercover operation, plan to abduct and kill policeman

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Leila Navidi

Devon Newman appears in Las Vegas Justice Court at the Regional Justice Center on Friday, August 23, 2013.

Sovereign Citizens in Court

Sovereign citizen David Brutsche appears in Las Vegas Justice Court at the Regional Justice Center on Friday, August 23, 2013. Launch slideshow »

An undercover Metro Police officer testified Thursday that he spent months with a man and woman as they hatched a scheme to abduct a Metro officer so they could try and execute the officer for treason in their own court of law.

And after the officer testified, Las Vegas Township Judge Conrad Hafen found enough evidence to send the case against the pair to trial.

Defendants David Allen Brutsche, 42, and Devon Campbell Newman, 67, face one count each of conspiracy to commit kidnapping.

Metro became interested in Brutsche, a convicted felon, because of a growing concern about the anti-government Sovereign Citizens Movement and its potential presence in Las Vegas, Scott Majewski testified.

Brutsche had multiple run-ins with Metro in which he became verbally unruly by making statements about Sovereign ideology, Majewski testified.

When Brutsche landed in jail in April, Majewski posed as an inmate in order to meet him.

On the stand, the officer detailed an elaborate plan: Defendants calculated how to snatch a random officer, where to hold him once they’d detained him, how try him and what to do with him after — shoot him and dump his body in the desert.

The plot involved making videos to explain the group’s actions to the public.

Metro’s undercover relationship with the defendants lasted from April to August.

During that time, undercover officers put on what Majewski referred to as “theater,” which involved officers feeding stories to the suspects in order to test their reactions.

It was theater that ultimately led to the arrest, according to Majewski’s testimony.

Majewski and one other undercover officer decided Aug. 20 to push Newman and Brutsche to act on the plan. The other undercover officer feigned outrage over a recent police-involved shooting and told defendants he believed the man killed in a shootout with Henderson Police was a fellow Sovereign Citizen.

Officers met with defendants at a warehouse — which Metro had secured earlier so the group could lead Sovereignty classes — and told the defendants they didn’t want to wait any longer to act on the plan.

The officers gave the defendants the option to back out. Brutsche said he wanted more time, but he came around when Newman said she was on board, Majewski testified.

After both defendants agreed to act on the plan and were leaving the warehouse, SWAT arrested them, Majewski testified.

Both defendants remain in the Clark County Detention Center.

Brutsche’s bail is set at $600,000 and Newman’s bail is $200,000, according to jail records.

An arraignment in Clark County District Court is set for Oct. 8 at 9:30 a.m.

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