Published on Monday, 20 August 2012 23:55 Written by Daily Mail Reporter
Seven people - who appear to be members of the same family - are suspects in the deadly rampage last week.
Police have some of the perpetrators have ties to the 'sovereign citizens' movement, a group deemed to be violent anarchists who believes they are not under the jurisdiction of U.S. law and don't need to fulfill duties, like pay taxes.
The group has been under surveillance for allegedly making threats to judges and law enforcement officers, using fake currency and impersonating police and the movement is listed on the FBI's domestic terror watchlist.
Tracking sovereign citizens has not been an easy task for federal authorities, as it's hard to say how many members there actually are.
Estimates show that hundreds of thousands of Americans follow the group's ideals, and individuals follow their own set of laws.
Well-known sovereign citizens include Terry Nichols, who helped plan the Oklahoma City bombing, the agency said in a 2011 brief.
The FBI reports that sovereign citizens have armed themselves with illegal weapons in the past, and have resorted to violence when confronted by authority figures.
The agency said: 'Although the sovereign-citizen movement does not always rise to violence, its members’… activities…make it a group that should be approached with knowledge and caution.'
In a 2010 report, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that the group is 'hundreds of thousands of far-right extremists who believe that they - not judges, juries, law enforcement or elected officials - get to decide which laws to obey and which to ignore, and who don't think they should have to pay taxes.'
According to the FBI, the sovereign citizen movement has been flourishing thanks to the internet, the economic downturn and various seminars designed to spread their beliefs.
Sovereign citizens believe that they live outside levels of government have no jurisdiction over them and resist authority - sometimes with violence - and murder.
And the tragic events in Louisiana last week are not the first time the organisation has been implicated in the deaths of police officers.
In May 2010, police officers Brandon Paudert and Bill Evans in West Memphis, Arkansas, were killed when a routine traffic stop turned into a grisly double murder.
Jerry Kane, who had been conducting sovereign citizens seminars across the country, was stopped by the officers in his white minivan.
During a confrontation, Kane's 16-year-old son Joseph suddenly jumped out of the vehicle with an AK-47 assault rifle and shot both officers dead.
The shooting sparked a tense manhunt in Arkansas, which ended in a Walmart parking lot where both Jerry and Joe Kane were killed in a shootout with officers.
The Kanes were later linked to the sovereign citizens movement.
The movement is described as 'loosely organized,' having been founded in the 1970s and more fully developed in the 1980s.
In last week's Louisiana case, three men and a woman - Derrick D. Smith, 22, Terry Lynn Smith, 44, Kyle David Joekel, 28, and 21-year-old Teniecha Teniel Bright - have been arrested and charged with principal to attempted first degree murder of a police officer.
Joekel was listed as a wanted fugitive on the Gage County, Nebraska, Sheriff's Office website.
He is accused of making 'terroristic threats' to patrons of a Nebraska bar and law enforcement officials. But authorities have said murder charges are pending.
Police have not released the motive behind the slayings of family men Brandon Nielsen, 34, and Jeremy Triche, 27, who were shot dead in a morning gun spree west of New Orleans on Thursday.
Two other officers - Michael Boyington, 33, and 30-year-old Jason Triche - suffered serious gunshot wounds but are recovering.
Brian Lyn Smith, 24, was charged with attempted first degree murder of a police officer and Chanel Melissa Skains, 37, and Britney Keith, 23, were charged with accessory to attempted first degree murder of a police officer.
All seven were arrested in connection with the attempted murder of Boyington, who was the first deputy shot.
Charges have not yet been filed in connection with the two deputies who were killed or the second wounded deputy. Although, authorities said yesterday they do not believe any suspects are still at large.
'We don’t know precisely what happened yet,' said Ronnie Jones, an assistant to the state police superintendent. 'We’re still putting pieces together.'
Credit: Daily Mail