SALT LAKE CITY, Oct. 3 (UPI) -- A federal judge in Utah has refused to grant bail to a man who claims to be a "sovereign citizen."
Robert Clifton Tanner, 44, of Louisiana and Maria Melody Fuentes Cecil of Spanish Fork, Utah, are awaiting trial on mail fraud charges, The Salt Lake Tribune in Salt Lake City reported. Tanner allegedly instructed Cecil in drawing up documents to declare herself a "sovereign citizen."
At a hearing Tuesday, Magistrate Paul Warner ordered Tanner to be held pending trial. Warner's decision was based on reports that Tanner had talked about having militia members arrest court personnel.
The Southern Poverty Law Center estimates about 100,000 hardcore members of the Sovereign Citizen Movement are active in the United States. The center said they deny the authority of the U.S. government, contending it violates English common law, and oppose government's authority to collect taxes, issue driver's licenses and similar actions.
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