Massachusetts: Heavily armed men who ‘don’t recognise US laws’ arrested

Police closed the interstate near Wakefield as they dealt with a group of heavily armed men

Police closed the interstate after a group of heavily armed people broke down and refused to recognise state law (Picture: Reuters)

Armed police have arrested 11 suspects after an hours long stand-off which partially closed an American interstate.

The incident started when a group of men, some of whom were clad in military-style gear with long guns and pistols, stopped on the side of the road near Wakefield, Massachusetts at around 2am.

Police noticed two cars pull over on I-95 with hazard lights on after they had apparently run out of fuel, authorities said at a Saturday press briefing.

The group had been off heading to Maine from Rhode Island for ‘training’, detectives said.

‘You can imagine 11 armed individuals standing with long guns slung on an interstate highway at 2 in the morning certainly raises concerns and is not consistent with the firearms laws that we have in Massachusetts,’ Mass State Police Col. Christopher Mason said.

He added the suspects, who did not have firearms licenses, refused to put down their weapons or comply with authorities’ orders, claiming to be from a group ‘that does not recognize our laws’ before taking off into a wooded area.

‘I appreciate that perspective,’ Mason said. ‘I disagree with that perspective at the end of the day, but I recognize that it’s there.’

Police partially shut the interstate on Saturday morning, causing major traffic problems during the fourth of July weekend.

It was an hours long stand-off (Picture: AP)
The armed group said it ‘did not recognise our laws (Picture: Reuters)
Many were trying to get away for the fourth of July weekend (Picture: AP)

The suspects surrendered after police tactical teams used armored vehicles to surround them.

Police initially reported nine suspects were taken into custody, but two more were arrested in their vehicle later Saturday morning.

Two suspects were hospitalized, but police said it was for preexisting conditions that had nothing to do with the standoff.

Police and prosecutors are working to determine what charges the members of the group will face.

The road was shut for several hours (Picture: Reuters)
Armed police surrounded the group (Picture: Reuters)
It’s not known what charges the group will face (Picture: Reuters)

Mason said the ‘self-professed leader’ of the group wanted it to be known that they are not antigovernment.

In a video posted to social media Saturday morning, a man who did not give his name, but said he was from a group called Rise of the Moors, broadcast from the scene.

‘We are not antigovernment. We are not anti-police, we are not sovereign citizens, we’re not Black identity extremists,’ said the man who appeared to be wearing military-style equipment. ‘As specified multiple times to the police that we are abiding by the peaceful journey laws of the United States.’

The website for the group says they are ‘Moorish Americans dedicated to educating new Moors and influencing our Elders.’

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

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