Kirkland Man Sentenced to 40 Months in Prison for Threatening Public Officials
Associate of “Sovereign Citizen” Movement Claimed He Would Forcibly Arrest Mayor
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 02, 2011|
A Kirkland, Washington, man who repeatedly threatened to arrest government officials with “deadly force,” was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 40 months in prison, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. DAVID RUSSELL MYRLAND, 53, will be on federal supervised release for three years following his prison term, and is required to repay the City of Kirkland $1,961 for police overtime costs. MYRLAND is an associate of the so-called “Sovereign Citizens” movement which claims the laws of the United States do not apply to them. At sentencing U.S. District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez told him, “The law applies to everyone…. And the consequences of breaking the law apply to everyone as well.”
“Our cherished right to free speech does not extend to the freedom to make threats against our public officials and law enforcement officers,” said U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan.
“Today the court held Mr. Myrland accountable for his crimes. His crimes had real victims. For too long Kirkland Mayor Joan McBride and other city officials have had to live with the specter of Mr. Myrland’s armed associates invading their homes. I applaud the courage of the mayor and her officers who appeared at the sentencing hearing today and described how this defendant’s selfish campaign of threats and quasi legal filings has altered their lives.”
MYRLAND was arrested on January 25, 2011, following a series of threats he made against government officials. Some of the threats began with a traffic stop of MYRLAND in Kirkland in April 2010. MYRLAND was pulled over for driving without a license plate, and was cited for driving without a license as well. During the course of the stop, MYRLAND repeatedly claimed that he was not subject to Washington State laws regarding driving, and stated that if he was placed under arrest for violating those laws, he would be constitutionally authorized to come to the officer’s residence and “arrest” the officer, including the use of deadly force.
The threats did not end there. MYRLAND took his difficulties to a Sovereign Citizen’s group with members in both Pierce and Skagit County. The group has an armed wing, the so called “County Rangers,” who serve as the Assembly’s “law enforcement” arm. In September 2010, MYRLAND sent emails and placed calls to government officials with the City of Kirkland urging them to “keep their doors unlocked,” because they were going to be arrested and “should not resist.” MYRLAND was initially arrested on state charges, but federal charges were filed after his associates continued to send letters to local officials referencing the use of “deadly force” to apprehend a “fleeing felon” such as Kirkland city leaders.
MYRLAND has remained detained since his January 25, 2011 arrest.
In asking for a four year prison term, prosecutors wrote to the court that MYRLAND “has made repeated threats over the years to “arrest” government officials using “deadly force.” He continues to this day to apparently believe that he was in the right, and everyone else is in the wrong. Despite his guilty plea, he continues to argue that he had a legal right to make the threats he made; that they were not legally threats; and that he was in the right in virtually every respect,” prosecutors wrote in their sentencing memo.
The case was investigated by the FBI, Federal Protective Services, the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigations Division, and the Kirkland Police Department, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Vince Lombardi and Jill Otake.