by: Mike Petchenik Updated:
FULTON COUNTY, Ga. - A Sandy Springs man's claim of immunity from the law didn't stop Roswell police from arresting him on drug charges.
Police told Channel 2's Mike Petchenik they stopped 34-year-old Chadwick Simmons a few weeks ago on Holcomb Bridge Road because his tag light was malfunctioning.
"When he pulled him over, he immediately smelled a strong odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle," said Roswell police officer Lisa Holland. "He gave the officer several names and claimed he was a trademarked name."
Holland said Simmons then made a bizarre assertion: "(He) claimed he was a Moorish Aboriginal Sovereign citizen, meaning to him we had no right to his license or any search of his vehicle."
Channel 2 Action News has exposed the so-called "Sovereign Citizens" in several investigative reports. Investigative reporter Jodie Fleischer discovered members of the group falsifying legal documents to steal homes across metro Atlanta.
"They do a lot of illegal stuff and claim sovereign citizenship, hoping that we will not do anything or arrest them or charge them with any crime," said Holland.
Holland said officers suspected Simmons was dealing drugs out of his car because they found 28 grams of marijuana, a scale and baggies. She said Simmons also had a firearm in the car.
"He kept saying he was a sovereign citizen throughout the entire traffic stop," she said.
Officers also arrested a woman, Camille Henderson, who was a passenger in Simmons' car.