CONCORD, N.H. – The U.S. Marshal's office in New Hampshire says that convicted tax evaders Ed and Elaine Brown have been arrested at their home in Plainfield Thursday night without incident.
It was not clear how the couple were arrested. A team of deputy marshals took them into custody at about 7:45 p.m.
The couple had been convicted on federal tax charges in January. They refused to turn themselves in to authorities when they were sentenced in April and have been holed up in their rural, fortress-like home since.
"The Browns may now begin serving their 63-month federal prison terms," said U.S. Marshal Stephen Monier. "High profile situations like this are always difficult, but they don't have to be tragic. I'm glad no one was injured, and that the community remained safe throughout the operation."
A spokesman for the marshal's office declined to comment further. Marshal Stephen Monier said in a news release that a press briefing was scheduled for 10 a.m. Friday at the U.S. District Courthouse in Concord.
The Browns were convicted of concealing $1.9 million in income to avoid paying federal taxes. The Browns believe federal tax laws are a fiction. They refused to surrender to authorities and report to prison. Aided by supporters, they engaged in a monthslong self imposed exile on their property in Plainfield.
Ed Brown has made numerous statements to the media promising violence to anyone targeting his property. He's also directly named investigators, prosecutors and the judge in his case, suggesting that they could be killed if anything happens to him. At other times, he has said their actions to date already justify retaliation.
Four supporters of the Browns were arrested on Sept. 12. In his news release, Monier said that since those arrests, "there had been a dip in the number of visitors to the house."
Earlier this year, officials cut power and telephone service in an effort to ratchet up pressure on the couple. The Browns said they hadn't noticed the changes, they can survive on generators and they have 103 wooded acres to keep warm this winter. Their home is on an isolated dirt road and includes a turret that offers a 360-degree view of the property and a driveway that is sometimes barricaded with sport utility vehicles.
Also, heavily armed police once surrounded the Browns' home and readied for combat in June while they seized commercial property the couple owned in a neighboring town. SWAT teams, military and explosives vehicles marshaled in the tiny town and sparked rumors — and expectations — of a raid. U.S. marshals said it was only for surveillance.