By PAT GROSSMITH AND KRISTEN SENZPlainfield – Dozens of heavily armed state police and federal agents have assembled near the rural Grafton County home of tax protesters Ed and Elaine Brown.
About 50 state troopers, some armed with high-powered rifles, along with a vehicle from the explosives unit gathered this morning in Plainfield, a small town where Edward and Elaine Brown have holed up in their home since being convicted of tax evasion and sentenced to lengthy federal prison terms.
The Browns have been aware of increased police activity all morning. In an audio file posted on a blog this morning, he said a silent aircraft at about 5,000 feet in the air flew over his home overnight.
And, he said, at about 7:45 a.m. this morning a fvisiting riend took his dog out for a walk but never returned. The dog, he said, came running up the driveway about an hour later.
He also said a neighbor called at 8:45 a.m. to let him know about 2 1/2 dozen state troopers were "coming down (Route) 12A heading in this direction."
The Browns were convicted in January in U.S. District Court in Concord for not paying more than $500,000 in taxes.
A UnionLeader.com correspondent was kept away from the Browns' compound by state police, who would not say why.
Susan Williams, who lives a mile or so away from the Browns on Center of Town Road, said she saw police officers, SWAT team members, a fire truck, ambulance, helicopter and at least one armored vehicle assembled in a field across from her driveway.
At the Browns' home, the Browns answered a telephone call from The Associated Press by saying: "This is the Lord's House. This is Sister Elaine and Brother Edward."
They said nothing was out of the ordinary at the house.
"It's very quiet. I have no idea. I don't see anything going on," said Brown, before hanging up.
The Browns insist federal income tax laws are invalid and have holed up in their hilltop home on 110 acres in Plainfield, which has a watchtower, concrete walls and the ability to run on wind and solar power. Brown said he has stockpiled food and supplies.
They were convicted in January of scheming to hide $1.9 million of income between 1996 and 2003. They also were convicted of using $215,890 in postal money orders to pay for their residence and for Elaine Brown's dental office. The money orders were broken into increments just below the tax-reporting threshold.
U.S. District Judge Steven McAuliffe sentenced them each to 5 1/4 years in prison. They skipped the April sentencing hearings, and Ed Brown has said he and his wife will refuse to surrender to authorities.
The couple has described the court as a "fiction" unworthy of their attention and returned government mail unopened. The federal judge who sentenced them in absentia has sent along their notice of appeal to an appellate court in Boston.
The Associated Press contributed to this story. UnionLeader.com's NewsAlert subscribers were the first to learn this news.
Plainfield – Dozens of heavily armed state police and federal agents have assembled near the rural Grafton County home of tax protesters Ed and Elaine Brown.
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