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United States v. Stokes

United States District Court, Sixth Circuit

May 30, 2013

United States of America, Plaintiff
v.
Jerome Stokes, Defendant

ORDER

JEFFREY J. HELMICK, District Judge.

Pending before the Court are the pro se Defendant's four motions to dismiss and the government's opposition thereto. For the reasons stated below, I find Defendant's motions to dismiss to be without merit and therefore they must be denied.

BACKGROUND

On December 5, 2011, Jerome Stokes was indicted on four (4) counts of possession with intent to distribute cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(C); one (1) count of being a felon in possession of a firearm, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1); and one (1) count of use or carrying of a firearm in relation to a drug trafficking offense, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(A)(i).

Following his arrest and at his arraignment on February 5, 2013, Magistrate Judge Vernelis K. Armstrong appointed the Federal Public Defender to represent the Defendant. The Defendant also entered a not guilty plea to all counts in the indictment.

At a subsequent detention hearing on February 11, 2013, the Defendant advised the Magistrate Judge he was a Moorish-American citizen who had been kidnapped and had an affidavit attesting to his sovereign status. (Doc. No. 9, pp. 51-52). He also noted that his name was King Al-Phahata-El-Bey-Ali and based upon that status, he demanded immediate release. ( Id ). The Magistrate Judge denied his request.

On March 1, 2013, I conducted a hearing on pending motions and objections to the detention order. At that hearing, the Defendant again advised the Court of his Moorish-American status which precluded him from being subject to the laws of the United States. (Doc. No. 14, pp. 4-8). The Defendant challenged the Court's jurisdiction over him and objected to the charges against him claiming he was not subject to the laws of the United States. He offered his affidavit to the Court in support of his claim. ( Id. at pp. 29-33).

Following this hearing, on March 15, 2013, Defendant filed his first motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction (Doc. No. 17). A second motion to dismiss was filed by Defendant on April 5, 2013 (Doc. No. 22), to be followed by a notarized motion to dismiss with prejudice and for lack of jurisdiction/due process on April 9, 2013 (Doc. No. 23).

At a hearing on April 10, 2013, I set a briefing schedule regarding the pending motions by Defendant and granted the Government until April 24, 2013, to respond and Defendant until May 8, 2013, to file a reply. (Doc. No. 24). Additionally, after finding Defendant competent to stand trial, I granted Defendant's motion to proceed pro se and continued the appointment of the Federal Public Defender to act as stand-by counsel only.

Defendant's fourth motion in the form of an affidavit to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction (Doc. No. 25) was filed on April 22, 2013. Six additional exhibits or affidavits (Doc. Nos. 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, and 31) in support were subsequently filed by the Defendant.

The Government's response (Doc. No. 32) was filed on April 23, 2013. On May 6, 2013, Defendant filed an affidavit entitled, "Notice of Default" of Fact "Demand For Dismissal" (Doc. No. 33), which I will consider a reply. Having reviewed each of the four motions, attachments, and affidavits in support as well as the Government's response and the Defendant's reply, the matters are ready for adjudication by the Court.

DISCUSSION

Each of the pro se Defendant's motions to dismiss echo the following common theme:

Indigenous Moors have the rights to determine their own identity or membership in accordance with their customs and tradition. This does not impair the right of indigenous Moors or individual to obtain citizenship in the State in which they live they have the right to determine the structures and to select the membership of their institutions in accordance with their own procedures. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his ...

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