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Mahwah traffic stop yields wanted felon with ties to anti-government extremists

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot File Photo

Mahwah Detective Kevin Hebert and Officer Michael Blondin couldn’t have known it at the time, but a traffic stop on Route 17 last night was anything but routine, given the driver’s history.

As it turned out, 30-year-old Oscar Ayala of Brooklyn was wanted out of Arizona for charges that include carrying a defaced handgun.

Ayala also has ties to the anti-government extremist “Sovereign Citizens” movement, which the FBI has characterized as a domestic terrorist group and numbers in the hundreds of thousands.

It was two soverigns who, during a traffic stop in July 2010, jumped from a minivan and opened fire on a pair of West Memphis, Ark., police officers, killing them. Both later died in a gun battle with authorities.

The Mahwah officers stopped Ayala’s car around 11:30 p.m. Wednesday. A search turned up an anabolic steroid, marijuana, and an undisclosed amount of cash.

Then came the national crime database hit on Ayala.

The Sovereigns don’t want to pay taxes, want to choose which laws they follow, are prone to violence and are, at base, racist and anti-Semitic. They’ve built their beliefs on bit and pieces from the Constitution, the Bible, commercial law and even admiralty law.

Their members have included Terry Nichols, a conspirator in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, and Joe Stack, who flew his small plane into an Austin, Texas IRS building.

Ayala was being held in the Bergen County Jail pending extradition to Arizona.

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