N.H. tax evaders face slew of new charges


The Browns, both in their late 60s, are serving five-year prison sentences for not paying taxes on $1.9 million of income, mostly from her dental practice. They stopped attending their trial in Concord halfway through and holed up in their fortified hilltop home in Plainfield in early 2007. Marshals tricked them and arrested them that fall.

U.S. Attorney Thomas Colantuono's office said Thursday the 11 new charges include weapons and conspiracy offenses during the months Browns threatened to forcefully resist arrest.

During the standoff, the Browns invited reporters to their property, and he, wearing a handgun, said he would not be taken alive.

"If I should be killed or imprisoned, or my wife is killed or imprisoned, or both, those responsible will join us," he said in January 2007.

One count, failure to appear at trial, applies only to Ed Brown, a retired exterminator, Colantuono spokeswoman Linda Tomlinson said.

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The Browns' solar- and wind-powered home had concrete walls and clearings creating a defensible perimeter, according to testimony and prosecution documents.

The compound in rural Plainfield became a rallying place for the Browns' anti-government, anti-tax supporters, some of whom pledged to use violence to defend the couple. Four have since been convicted and sent to prison.

Marshals posing as supporters talked their way into the home in October 2007 and arrested the couple without incident.

After the arrest, prosecutors said federal agents spent five days clearing the property of explosives so it could be searched safely. They reported finding booby traps in the woods and weapons, ammunition and homemade bombs inside and outside the house.

The couple claims the federal income tax is not legitimate. Their argument - repeatedly rejected by courts - is that no law authorizes the federal income tax and that the 1913 constitutional amendment permitting it was never properly ratified.


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