Note: This story was last updated at 12:15 p.m. Feb. 17.
Seven “sovereign citizens” from Anderson County, including Lee Harold Cromwell, have been indicted and arrested on charges related to filing fraudulent liens against local officials, law enforcement officers, and public employees, authorities said Thursday.
The sovereign citizens were arrested Wednesday by teams that included agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, according to a press release from Seventh Judicial District Attorney General Dave Clark in Anderson County.
The TBI said a year-long investigation with the Federal Bureau of Investigation resulted in a 320-count indictment, and 10 people were arrested on charges of unlawfully filing liens and making false entries into records. Multiple other state, county, and local law enforcement agencies also participated in the arrests.
TBI special agents began their investigation at the request of Clark in May 2016. That was about the time that Anderson County Circuit and Criminal Court Judge Don Elledge learned that Cromwell had filed a lien against the judge, causing Elledge to recuse himself from a vehicular homicide and aggravated assault case filed against Cromwell. The judge vowed to do everything he could legally, morally, and ethically—both criminally and civilly—to prosecute Cromwell to the full extent of the law.
Elledge said he discussed the liens filed against him by Cromwell with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, a federal task force, the Seventh District Attorney General’s Office (the Anderson County DA), and local legislators. [Read more…]