January 11, 2010
The federal government has sentenced Ed Brown to 37 years in prison, a virtual death sentence. Brown is 68 years old. If he lives long enough to serve the entire sentence, he will be released when he is 107 years old.
Elaine and Ed Brown. In 2006, Brown and his wife Elaine were indicated on federal tax violations. The government claimed the Browns had not paid taxes since 1996 and owed it more the $625,000. The Browns said they were not presented with any law that required them to pay income taxes to the federal government, an argument similar to many tax protester statutory arguments. Ed Brown refused to attend his trial and was found guilty by a jury in a Federal District Court in Concord, New Hampshire, on three criminal charges.
On April 14, 2007, Ed and Elaine Brown “ordered the clerk of the court to close their case, citing themselves as ‘the court’ and ‘judge,’” according to the Concord Monitor.
The Browns were arrested “without incident” on October 4, 2007, at their home, described by the corporate media as a “compound.” Undercover police had posed as supporters. “Ultimately, this open-door policy that they [the Browns] seemed to have which allowed the Browns to have some supporters bring them supplies, welcome followers and even host a picnic — this proved to be their undoing… They invited us in. We escorted them out,” said U.S. Marshal Stephen Monier.
“By their continuing actions, allegedly, to obstruct justice, to encourage others to assist them to obstruct justice, by making threats toward law enforcement and other governmental officials, they have turned this into more than a tax case,” Monier said during a news conference on October 5, 2007.
Ed Brown was singled out for abusive treatment while awaiting trial on charges of resisting and allegedly threatening the United States Marshals Service. Brown said he was tasered, gassed, subjected to sensory deprivation, and tortured with a technique known as the “diesel treatment” or “therapy.”
The brutal technique is described as follows. It was allegedly used on former Republican representative George Hansen who was censured by the House for failing to include transactions on federal disclosure forms. Hansen was a vocal critics of the IRS and spent 15 months in prison.
Before the prisoner is put on the bus, he is put in handcuffs and shackles. The handcuffs are tightened by a black box that stiffens the chains and puts the wrists in a 90 degree bind that painfully cuts circulation and damages the nerves. It takes several weeks for the circulation and nerves to return to normal. The handcuffs are connected with chains to a waist chain, which is in turn connected by another chain to the shackles which go around the ankles. The prisoner can barely move once the shackling process is complete.The Browns were found guilty by a federal district court jury on all counts in July of 2009. In October of that year, Elaine Brown was sentence to 35 years in federal prison. Elaine Brown is 70 years old.
Daniel Riley, a supporter of the Browns, was convicted in October of 2009 of manufacturing explosives and providing the Browns with firearms. Riley was found guilty of conspiracy, aiding and abetting the couple, and using guns and bombs to prolong the standoff, according to the Concord Monitor. Riley was sentenced to 36 years in federal prison.
Supporters Jason Gerhard of Brookhaven, New York, Cirino Gonzalez of Alice, Texas, and Robert Wolffe of Randolph, Vermont, were also convicted in the case. The men received sentences of 20 years, eight years, and two and a half years respectively.