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Sheriff's Reports 6-20-24: 'Sovereign citizen' allegedly noncompliant during suspected DUI traffic stop

A tribal man claiming to be a "sovereign citizen" was arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence after a traffic stop near the Illinois River.

On June 8, Cherokee County Sheriff's deputies Robert Stephens and Amber Rigsby were patrolling traffic on State Highway 10 and East Steely Hollow Road when they noticed a vehicle with no taillights on. They followed the vehicle and the driver crossed over the center line three times. The deputies initiated a traffic stop but the vehicle almost crashed into a ditch before coming to a stop. The driver, Brian Duncan Soldier, put his hands out of the window for a few seconds. Stephens approached the man and could smell the odor of alcohol. He said Soldier appeared intoxicated but the driver denied consuming alcohol. Soldier allegedly told Stephens he was driving how he thought was "proper." The man put his hands on the steering wheel and turned the radio volume up from the controls on the steering wheel. Soldier was given a command to turn the vehicle off and to hand over his driver's license, but the man said he didn't need to because he was a "sovereign citizen." Stephens gave Solider the same command a second time but he turned the radio volume up and reportedly said he couldn't hear the deputy. Stephens told Soldier to step out of the vehicle, but the man said he hadn't done anything. Deputies removed Soldier from the vehicle. Soldier was arrested and placed in the back of the patrol vehicle. Stephens said he began searching Soldier's vehicle when the man began screaming and banging his head against the patrol vehicle window. He was transported to the Cherokee County Detention Center and reportedly became verbally aggressive and noncompliant. Soldier was booked on anticipated charges of driving under the influence, obstruction, and resisting arrest.

On June 8, Deputy Jimmy Tannehill was dispatched to State Highway 82 due to a reckless driver. The deputy located the vehicle parked at a church and met with the driver, Stephen Kooro, who said he was driving to his food truck in Tahlequah. Tannehill informed the man that two other drivers called and said he was driving all over the road, he ran off the road, and he was following too close to other vehicles. Kooro handed the deputy an identification card and said he applied for his driver's license and was waiting for that. The man was detained and Tannehill said he could smell the odor of alcohol on his person. Kooro reportedly said he hadn't slept in four days. He was arrested after a field sobriety test and booked for driving under the influence, transporting an open container, failure to maintain lane, and driving without a valid driver's license.

Deputy Stephens was called to Woodard Road June 8 for a suspicious activity call wherein a woman reportedly threatened to assault a Dollar General employee. Deputies met with Christy Marie Allen, who said she was trying to get a ride somewhere because she was homeless. Stephens said the woman was verbally aggressive and became agitated. She also had an odor of alcohol coming from her person and was unsteady on her feet. The employee said they told Allen to leave the store due to pervious issues they had with her and she refused to leave before she threatened to hit them. Allen was arrested and transported to the Cherokee County Detention Center, when deputies asked if she had any contraband on her. Allen said she didn't but detention officers found a glass container "associated with smoking narcotics with a burnt black substance." She was booked on anticipated charges of bringing in contraband into a penal institution, threats to perform acts of violence, public intoxication, loitering, and possession of drug paraphernalia.


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