By Margot Sanger-Katz
December 09. 2007 12:06AM
Elaine Brown performed dental work on the undercover U.S. marshal who arrested her, and was eating pizza and drinking beer with him and her husband, Ed, when she was suddenly tackled, Tasered and handcuffed, she said in a letter recently posted on the internet.
The arrest, in October, ended a nearly nine-month standoff between federal officials and the Browns, who vowed to die before surrendering to serve prison sentences for tax crimes. The Browns contend that no law required them to pay taxes on nearly $1.9 million of Elaine's income from her dental practice.
They stockpiled weapons and explosives devices, court documents say, and hosted like-minded guests committed to helping them hold off authorities. They were arrested by a small team of undercover marshals who posed as supporters.
Accounts from Ed Brown and Shaun Kranish, an Illinois supporter of the couple who introduced them to an undercover marshal named "Dutch," have provided a description of how the couple was tricked into inviting marshals to their home. But Elaine Brown's letter includes new details that emphasize the trust she put in Dutch before the arrest.
"Dutch/Dan also brought 3 pizzas, and we broke out the beer. We all sat on the front porch, eating pizza and drinking beer, just relaxing," the letter from prison says. "Suddenly they all jumped us."
A facsimile of the handwritten letter was posted on an online message board Friday by a poster named "Keith in RI" and described as an "affidavit" from Elaine Brown. The handwriting is similar to writing in recent court pleadings penned by Brown.
U.S. Marshal Stephen Monier, who led the effort to apprehend the Browns, said that he had seen the letter but could not comment or confirm any details.
In a lengthy radio interview in October, Kranish described how he first chatted with Dutch online, then met him at a South Bend, Ind., gas station, agreed to help him with a security job on Long Island, drove cross country with him and finally escorted him to the Browns' Plainfield home. Dutch told Kranish that he had professional skills that he could offer to the couple to help secure their home. According to Kranish's account, the four stayed up all night talking when they arrived at the Browns' home, but Kranish left Dutch alone with the couple for several hours while he took a nap.
According to Elaine's letter, Dutch, who told Kranish his real name was Daniel Farrioli, described his profession differently.
"Dutch/Dan stayed with us for a day or so, offering to aid us in any way," she wrote. "He claimed to be a bounty hunter, living in New York someplace. I do not recall if he said exactly where. He asked to have some broken fillings replaced, which I did, and for which he paid me."
A blog post this summer, written by a man who was living with the couple, said Elaine Brown had brought some dental equipment to her house and was performing work there to earn money. During her trial, an employee testified that Elaine refused to use metal fillings containing mercury or provide fluoride treatments because she feared the chemicals would poison her patients.
In June, IRS agents seized and secured her former office in West Lebanon. Dutch offered to break into the building and recover more dental supplies for Brown, the letter says. He said he would go home to New York to bring friends who could help him.
"I had asked him why he would take such a risk for someone he didn't even know," she wrote. "His answer was, 'Because I love you guys.' I remember those exact words."
On Oct. 4, the day of the arrest, Dutch returned with four friends, the letter says. One or two stayed at her house while Dutch and the others said they were going to the office. They returned later with full bags and three pizzas.
The arrest happened during dinner, the letter said.
In Ed Brown's account of the arrest, which he told to Kranish in a recorded phone conversation from the Elkton, Ohio, prison where he was initially held, he said that Dutch "swarmed" him and he did not resist. (Kranish confirmed that the recording was authentic, and Monier, who declined to comment on Brown's statement at the time, did not deny that the recording was real.)
"I had the opportunity to stop Dutch, real quick and real brief. You know, I'm really fast," Brown told Kranish in the recording. "I'm not going to hurt anybody, and I don't want to hurt anybody."
Elaine's version is slightly different. She wrote that Dutch "jumped" her while the other four marshals went for her husband.
"Dutch/Dan was sitting on my right, and he grabbed me securing my hands. Once he had me secured, one of the others tasered me on my left knee," the letter says. "The other 4 men had Ed on the floor, they had actually forced him out of his chair, through the front door, and onto the foyer floor. We were immediately handcuffed."
Monier has provided few details about the circumstances of the arrest, saying only that it involved a small team of marshals, took place on the couple's porch and was without incident.
Elaine Brown wrote that Ed Brown was taken from the house first, where she was left for an hour with a growing crowd of heavily armed marshals. The letter says she "had no doubt they were ready to kill us."
But she also said that one marshal kept telling her that he was glad they had not been shot.
She said she saw her husband briefly at the Lebanon police station before she was taken to a Rhode Island holding facility and later to the Danbury, Conn., minimum security prison where she is currently incarcerated.
"I passed by the cell Ed was in," she wrote. "We kissed through the metal screen. That is the last time I saw my husband."
Since their arrest, both Browns have corresponded with supporters, who have been discussing the missives in online discussion forums. "Keith in RI," who posted the recent letter from Elaine Brown, has been writing to both Browns and four of their supporters who were arrested this summer, his messages say.
The Browns are both serving 63-month sentences for a series of crimes related to their unwillingness to pay federal income taxes on Elaine Brown's dental income over several years. Monier has indicated that they will likely be charged with additional crimes once an investigation is complete. Court documents in their supporters' cases have said that federal agents found more than two dozen improvised explosive devices, booby traps and 20 guns on the property. The Browns also publicly threatened federal officials, including the judge in their criminal trial
Throughout their stand, the Browns repeated that they would never surrender to authorities.
"We don't know how this will end. But there are only two ways we are coming out of here," Elaine Brown said on a web video recorded in March. "Either as a free man and as a free woman or in body bags."
But in the recent letter, Elaine Brown describes ambivalence about her capture.
"Dutch/Dan was very good," Elaine wrote in the letter. "Ed and I had our suspicions, but we let our guard down. Perhaps the situation was starting to get to us. I know I was starting to get itchy about being unable to leave, and having to rely on others. It had to end one way or another."
According to Elaine's affidavit and online transcriptions of other letters, the Browns have not been allowed to communicate directly, though they have learned of each other's circumstances indirectly.
Ed Brown has struggled more with prison life, according to online accounts and the audio recording. In the taped phone conversation, he complained of abuse that included "gassing" through the prison ventilation system, isolation and unreasonably cold conditions. More recent letters have reiterated some of these complaints, in some cases alleging that he has been "permanently" damaged.
Transcriptions of Elaine Brown's letters indicate she's found some elements of prison life challenging, including the noise and the carbohydrate-laden diet, but has been getting along with her fellow inmates.
"I have met some amazing women here who have opened my eyes to a new path in our quest for freedom," she wrote in the recent letter. "We are working along that road now, in our continuing effort to expose the fraud in our government. Is this why I am here?"
Audio Clip Reveals Ed Brown Was Tortured
Shaun Kranish of MaketheStand.com was able to call into the Ohio prison where Ed Brown is being held and managed to have a 10 minute conversation with him. This is the first known conversation that Ed Brown has had with anybody on the outside since his arrest. Ed and Elaine Brown were arrested out of their Plainfield, NH home a few weeks ago after a standoff with the Feds over the lawfulness of the Federal income tax. The Brown's refused to pay the Federal income tax after they discovered problems with the legality and Constitutionality of the tax. During their trial, the Brown's were not allowed to properly defend themselves and they were eventually found guilty in the kangaroo court. The phone conversation was recorded and uploaded to the web, but has since been removed from its original source. The audio clip of the phone conversation can be downloaded here.
In the phone conversation, Ed Brown reveals that he was put into a deprivation tank for hours, gassed for days and not allowed to receive mail or make phone calls. He also reveals that he was tasered during his apprehension and that terrible things were done to his wife Elaine.
Ed Brown also questioned why Kranish brought an individual named Dutch into the Brown's home that ended up helping the Feds apprehend him. It is suspicious that Kranish was able to secure a conversation with him when nobody else has thus far been able to get in contact with him from the outside. The possibility that the release of this audio clip is a psychological warfare operation against the patriot community is a distinct possibility.
Either way, if the statements Ed Brown is making is true, he is certainly being mistreated and tortured by the Feds. There needs to be an investigation into this and anybody involved with mistreating Ed or Elaine Brown should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. All the Brown's did was ask the Feds to show them the law that requires them to pay a Federal income tax on their labor. The Feds have failed thus far to do so which indicates that there is no law that requires the average American to pay and that the Federal income tax is enforced through the threat of force.
Watch This Video Of Homeland Security Helicopter Flying Over And Spying On The Browns Home During A Party They Had In July 2007.