Brent Douglas Cole, the man who shot a Bureau of Land Management ranger and a California Highway Patrol officer near the California-Nevada border earlier this month, was defending an illegal campground according to police.
The BLM ranger and highway patrol officer were investigating Cole’s illegal campground in a national forest when Cole, who has been linked to the “Sovereign Citizens” movement, opened fire. The two had been attempting to tow motorcycles from the campground immediately before the gunfire erupted.
Cole, who describes himself as a “sovereign American Citizen attempting to thwart the obvious conspiracy and subterfuges of powers inimical to the United States,” wounded the two men but sustained a gunshot wound of his own.
He is facing charges of attempted murder.
In addition, the shooter has a pending weapons charge stemming from Nevada County Sheriff’s deputy discovering two loaded handguns in his pickup truck. Cole was offered a deal: plead guilty to one weapons charge and receive two years probation and fines, but lose his weapons. Cole rejected the offer and chose to defend himself with the good old “I’m a target of a “’seditious conspiracy intended to bring the United States to absolute ruin'” defense. That case remains open.
Cole is yet another example of the damaging right-wing ideologies that infect supporters of Cliven Bundy — the man who kicked off armed conflict with the BLM when he and a few hundred “militiamen” stood down police and federal agents with weapons drawn in order to keep Bundy’s cattle on welfare.
Until we take a harder stance with these criminals, we will simply be seeing more Jerad and Amanda Millers and Brent Douglas Coles.