(10:05 p.m.) LATEST MASS. STATE POLICE UPDATE:
JOINT UPDATE FROM MIDDLESEX DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE AND MASSACHUSETTS STATE POLICE
The ongoing investigation by Massachusetts State Police detectives assigned to the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office, the State Police Crime Scene Services Section and State Police Troop A has determined that all 11 males arrested today in Wakefield refer to themselves as a militia and state that they adhere to “Moorish Sovereign Ideology.” The group claimed that it was traveling from Rhode Island to Maine to conduct what it refers to as “training.” None of the men, who were dressed in military fatigues and body armor and were armed with long guns and pistols, has a license to carry firearms. Troopers have recovered eight firearms thus far: three AR-15 rifles; two pistols; a bolt-action rifle; a shotgun; and a short barrel rifle.
The defendants are identified as follows (two of the defendants continue to refuse to identify themselves),
JAMHAL TAVON SANDERS LATIMER, a.k.a. JAMHAL TALIB ABDULLAH BEY, 29, of Providence, R.I.;
ROBERT RODRIGUEZ, 21, of the Bronx, New York;
WILFREDO HERNANDEZ, a.k.a. WILL MUSA, 23, of the Bronx, New York;
ALBAN EL CURRAUGH, 27, of the Bronx, New York;
AARON LAMONT JOHNSON, a.k.a. TARRIF SHARIF BEY, 29, of Detroit, Mich.;
QUINN CUMBERLANDER, 40, of Pawtucket, R.I.;
LAMAR DOW, 34, of the Bronx, New York;
CONRAD PIERRE, 29, of Baldwin, New York;
A male juvenile, age 17;
John Doe #1, refusing to identify self;
John Doe #2, refusing to identify self.
All suspects are charged with the following offenses:
Unlawful possession of a firearm, eight counts;
Unlawful possession of ammunition;
Use of body armor in commission of a crime;
Possession of a high capacity magazine;
Improper storage of firearms in a vehicle; and
Conspiracy to commit a crime.
Additionally, HERNANDEZ, JOHNSON, DOW, and the juvenile male are charged with furnishing a false name to police.
Additional charges are possible if the ongoing investigation, including the expected search of the defendants’ two vehicles, determines they are warranted.
The juvenile defendant will be released to parental custody. The remaining adults will be each be held at the Billerica House of Correction on $100,000 cash bail. They will be arraigned next week in Malden District Court.
INITIAL HN REPORTS:
As reported in earlier “GLIMPSE BEYOND OUR BRIDGES” :
ARMED STANDOFF ON I-95 IN WAKEFIELD, MASS…
INITIAL MASS. STATE POLICE STATEMENTS:
(5:35 a.m.) We are currently on scene for an ongoing situation involving several armed persons on Route 95 in Wakefield. We currently have Route 95 shutdown between Lynnfield and Stoneham. We are asking residents of Wakefield and Reading to shelter in place at this time. The situation is fluid. Media responding to the ongoing situation on Route 95 are directed to stage at the 99 Restaurant parking lot, 10 Main St., Stoneham. Media responding to the ongoing situation on Route 95 are directed to stage at the 99 Restaurant parking lot, 10 Main St., Stoneham. We will update further when appropriate.
(5:41 a.m.) We have several armed persons accounted for at this scene on Rt 95. They are refusing to comply with orders to provide their information and put down their weapons. We are asking residents of Wakefield and Reading to shelter in place at this time. Media are asked to report to the staging area and not to try to get closer to the scene for safety reasons.
(6:41 a.m.) Two suspects are in custody. They were observed and arrested by members of the Northeast Metropolitan Law Enforcement Council on North Avenue in Wakefield. MSP has taken custody of the suspects and transported them to one of our barracks. The situation is ongoing with the remaining members of the group. We continue to work to resolve the situation peacefully.
(7:13 a.m.) TENTATIVE — We are looking at holding a media briefing in approximately 1 hour at the staging area at the 99 in Stoneham. I will confirm as we get closer to the time.
(7:47 a.m.) Colonel Mason and Wakefield PD will brief media at 8:10 am at our staging area, 99 Restaurant, 10 Main St, Stoneham.
(10:30 a.m.) Remaining suspects on highway have been taken into custody by MSP Special Tactical Operations Team. Seven additional suspects being transported for booking. We will now conduct sweeps of their 2 vehicles and woods. Total of 9 in custody counting the initial two arrested. We will let you know when briefing will be. Thank you to our many partner agencies who assisted.
(Appx. 10:50 a.m.) 95 southbound reopened. Northbound remains closed. Sweeps of vehicles and woodline ongoing.
(Appx. 10:55 a.m.) Shelter in place lifted for residents of Wakefield and Reading. Media briefing soon, will advise exact time
(Appx. 11:02 a.m.) Media briefing at approximately 11:15 AM at 99 restaurant staging area.
(Appx. 11:10 a.m.) Two additional suspects were located in their vehicles, bringing the total number of those arrested to 11 (two initially on North Avenue and nine outside and inside the vehicles)
(Appx. 5:26 p.m.) The process of interviewing and charging the prisoners from this morning’s incident on Route 95 in Wakefield is ongoing. A few updates:
At the last press briefing on-scene we noted that two of the prisoners were transported to area hospitals for examination after reporting medical issues relating to pre-existing conditions. Since that time a third prisoner was also transported to a hospital for similar reason. At this time, two of the three have been released and transported to a barracks; one prisoner remains undergoing examination at a hospital.Several of the prisoners are refusing to provide identifying information, delaying the booking process. We are not yet in a position to release names and other identifying information.We continue to work with the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office to determine appropriate criminal charges, which, as previously noted, are expected to include firearms charges.We have both vehicles in which the prisoners were traveling and are seeking court authorization to search the vehicles for evidence.We continue attempts to obtain statements from the prisoners.The results of the search warrants we hope to execute on the vehicles, as well as any interviews we conduct, may factor into charging decisions.
We are cognizant that media outlets are eager to receive information about the identities of the prisoners and the charges against them. We will provide that information as soon as possible, but because of the volume of prisoners we are processing as well as some of the reasons listed above, we are not yet able to release that information.
According to their website, the “Rise of the Moors” group say they are “Moorish Americans dedicated to educating new Moors and influencing our Elders…”
On their website, their mission states:
“The main focus of Rise of the Moors is to perform all things relating to and appropriate to portraying the overall history of our ancestors – the Olmecs, Moabites, Canaanites, Hittites etc.; Informing all Moors of their political status here in the Maghreb Al Aqsa (America – Morocco the most extreme west); Enlighten the minds of the fallen Moors, restoring them the their ‘In Full Life,’ ‘In Propria Persona Sui Juris’ status, as opposed to the mentality of a minor who is ‘Civil liter Mortuus’; to promote a collective of Moorish Americans and connecting them to the Rise of the Moors social and economic platform; to promote the use of moral principles and the branches of knowledge dealing with ethical awareness; to encourage all Moorish Americans to believe in the capacity of each other to succeed in business, to encourage, support and provide patronage in our affairs.”
“Our business endeavors will achieve its highest in fulfillment and confidence with the cooperation and patronage of all nationals and especially emphasized whenever possible between other Moorish Americans.”
According to the Associated Press, “Mass State Police Col. Christopher Mason said the suspects surrendered after police tactical teams used armored vehicles to tighten the perimeter around them.” “The standoff began around 2 a.m. when police noticed two cars pulled over on I-95 with hazard lights on after they had apparently run out of fuel, authorities said at a Saturday press briefing.” “At least some of the suspects were clad in military-style gear with long guns and pistols, Mason said. He added that they were headed to Maine from Rhode Island for “training.” “The men refused to put down their weapons or comply with authorities’ orders, claiming to be from a group “that does not recognize our laws” before taking off into a wooded area, police said.”
HN NOTE: This is a developing story. There a many remaining unanswered questions. The Interstate Highway standoff lasted approximately 9 hours on a busy Fourth of July weekend. The latest is that 11 of these men were taken into custody today. The police investigation is ongoing. Check back for updates…
(Media release video from Rise of the Moors on Youtube…)
[HN VIDEO – PRESS PLAY]
* All suspects are presumed to be innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
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