Florida Common Law Court
Note the simplicity of the press in their presentation. Each paragraph constitutes one sentence. Below eighth grade reading, for the masses, and trial by press, which has become so common. OPF
The Orlando Sentinel, Sunday, June 22, 1997
TAMPA--An Internal Revenue Service agent went undercover to infiltrate Florida's patriot community, playing the role of a tax evader and anti-government sympathizer to gain entry.
Tape-recorded portions of what he found were played to a jury hearing the case against an anti-government group that set up its own court system and allegedly tampered with juries and threatened judges, jurors and witnesses with treason and arrest by a self-styled militia.
Internal Revenue Service agent Robert Quigley shed his identity in 1995 to go undercover.
As "Robert Chapman," he attended meetings of the renegade Constitutional Common Law Court, led by Emilio Ippolito and his followers, and stepped into their world wearing a hidden microphone.
Half of the eight defendants in this case are from Central Florida - Laurent Moore and Jack Warren of Orlando, Richard Brown of Winter Garden and Charles Dunnigan of Clermont.
Quigley testified he lived undercover from April 1995 to March 1996, when Ippolito, his daughter, Susan Mokdad, and his followers were imprisoned after being indicted on multiple counts of conspiracy and obstruction of justice.
Government agents who infiltrated the group would be hanged, patriots were told at a meeting that Quigley attended and secretly recorded.
The groups - with names including Common Law Court, National Freemen, North American Freedom Council, Committee of Public Safety and Christian Jural Society - met in public libraries, an industrial park and a Howard Johnson's, Quigley testified.
Quigley testified IRS agents investigated because they thought they had "a severe problem in the Central Florida area."
Prosecutors have portrayed the group as dangerous vigilantes who advocated storming Orlando's federal court and taking judges hostage.
IRS agents were threatened and subject to numerous nuisance liens to ruin their credit ratings. In addition, Quigley said, the IRS thought groups were plotting to seize an IRS office in Florida.
At a September 1995 meeting in Kissimmee, Quigley testified, Ippolito and his daughter taught about two dozen people how to form their own group and wreak havoc on federal and state judicial systems.
Ippolito and his followers believe they are part of a superior class of citizens not subject to state or federal laws, according to prosecutors. The U.S. Constitution and the power of the people are the only authorities they recognize.
Tape-recorded portions of the organizational meeting were played Friday for the jury.
"You are the boss. You are the highest authority here," Ippolito told his audience. "This is powerful, what we're doing. This is so powerful that it's almost frightening.
"If you want to set yourself free, stand up and be counted," he said. "If you don't believe in the Constitution, I'll charge you with treason right here and now."
Ippolito and Mokdad bragged they disrupted trials in California and Colorado and planned to do the same for compatriots imprisoned in Orlando.
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