A Sovereign Citizen Movement member wanted on drug, weapon and theft charges in Arizona, was arrested in Mahwah Wednesday night after police say they caught him with a large quantity of drugs.
Oscar Ayala, 30, of Brooklyn, N.Y., was arrested after 11:30 p.m. Wednesday after being pulled over for a motor vehicle violation on Route 17, Mahwah police said Thursday. A computer search by cops identified Ayala as a wanted felon arrested in Arizona in October of 2010 on theft, narcotics, and possession of a defaced weapon charges, Mahwah Police Chief James Batelli said.
Police searching the car Ayala was driving, which was registered to a woman in Florida, found a large quantity Turanabol — a steroid — and marijuana, Batelli said. Ayala was charged with possession, intent to distribute, and motor vehicle violations, police said. The car he was driving was not stolen, police said.
Ayala was remanded to the Bergen County Jail and is expected to be extradited to Arizona to answer his pending charges there, police said.
According to Batelli, conversations with Ayala and tattoos on his body indicate that he is a member of the Sovereign Citizen Movement, an anti-government group that does not believe in judges, juries or law enforcement officials.
The movement is of particular concern to law enforcement officers because of a violent history between SCM members and police, Batelli said.
According to an LATimes.com article, the group has been on the FBI’s radar as a domestic “extremist” group that has killed at least six police officers in recent years.
The group also believes that the "U.S. is essentially under martial law, that some U.S. constitutional amendments are invalid, and that dollars have been illegitimate since the U.S. Treasury went off the gold standard during the Great Depression," according to the LATimes.com report.
Batelli credited the alert actions of Mahwah Detective Kevin Hebert and Officer Michael Blondin with the arrest.
Other recent arrest stories in Mahwah:
- Democratic Campaign Worker Charged With Swiping Campaign Signs
- Four Mahwah Teens Charged In Connection With Alleged Arson