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Judge revokes bond of Huntsville man accused in ‘sovereign citizen’ ID theft ring case

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- A Madison County judge has revoked the bond of Miles Tibbs, who is accused of being part of a ‘sovereign citizen,’ fake ID and forgery factory by prosecutors.

Madison County Assistant District Attorney Jay Town argued that Tibbs should be held in jail while the investigation continues, but Town said at this point the evidence doesn’t point to any links to terrorism.  Town is prosecuting the case with Madison County Assistant District Attorney Jeff McCluskey.

Madison County District Judge Claude Hundley presided over the two-hour hearing. The judge ordered Tibbs held without bond until further notice.

The terrorism issue was raised last week by Madison County Sheriff’s Office investigators. They noted when deputies went to 5 Elm Ridge Blvd. in Huntsville to evict the residents who were living there without permission – including Tibbs and Sean Decambra – they found scores of identity and Social Security information and foreign currency from Iran, Iraq, Malaysia, Indonesia and  Vietnam.

Computers seized from the house have been sent to a Department of Homeland Security facility in Knoxville for analysis, said Roland Campos, an investigator with the Madison County Sheriff’s Office. Campos testified at Monday’s hearing.

Tibbs and his brother Monualdai Kareem Burnett Tibbs are both charged with a single count of trafficking in stolen identities. Decambra is charged with possession of a forged instrument, a passport.

The Sheriff’s Office said last week they were engaged in an extensive search to locate the three men. Thursday, Hundley accepted a request from the Madison County DA’s office to revoke Miles Tibbs’ and Decambra’s bond. But Friday, Tibbs’ attorney Robin Wolfe filed a motion asking the court to lift the revocation order.

She argued Miles Tibbs had never left Huntsville, he’d been living with his father since he was arrested and bonded out on Aug. 9.

Campos testified that as part of the manhunt the sheriff’s office deployed its SWAT team to look for the three men.

While Miles Tibbs was in court Monday arguing that he should be allowed to stay out on bond, prosecutors said they cannot locate Monualdai Tibbs or Decambra.

Campos said documents at the house included some documents related to a “sovereign citizen” anti-government point of view, including what he called a declaration of independence.

Decambra filed a motion with the court Sept. 8, arguing that he should not have been charged under Alabama law. The filing argues the “forged instrument” he was charged with possessing was actually a “World Passport,” which is not illegal under Alabama or federal law.

The brief argues, “The World Passport is not a fictitious form of identification because it does not claim to be issued by a false state entity, either within the United States or within a foreign government, but rather it is issued by the World Government of World Citizens’ administrative branch, the World Service Authority, which is legally incorporated …”

Several character witnesses testified on Miles Tibbs’ behalf, describing him as a talented photographer and videographer, a serious Christian and proud American. They said they had never heard Tibbs express any opinion favoring an anti-government sovereign citizen point of view.

The witnesses including his father and brother and longtime friends scoffed at the idea that he is a flight risk or a danger to the community.

But Campos testified Tibbs was living in a house where investigators found a photo studio that could be used for ID photos. Tibbs’ attorney Robin Wolfe argued the studio could also be used for Tibbs’ outside photography work.

Campos testified that the search of the home yielded boxes of materials, the foreign currency, debit and credit cards, bank applications and mail to several people at the home’s address who didn’t live there.

Campos said so far investigators have found 101 names of individuals attached to different financial items, 81 Social Security cards with no names, 40 or so bank accounts under different names and counterfeit Alabama and Florida driver’s licenses.

Tibbs’ attorney Wolfe argued there was no evidence tying Tibbs to the materials seized in the house. She said the evidence showed he was living in the home and paying his brother rent by mowing the grass, or paying an electricity bill.

She said Tibbs does not have a valid passport and has longstanding ties to the community.

Town argued that there is no way to know how many other IDs are other out there that Tibbs might have access to and that numerous additional charges will eventually be filed against all three men.

Town told Judge Hundley that if the court decided to allow Tibbs’ to stay out on bond, he hoped it would raise the bond amount from $15,000 to $250,000.

Wolfe argued that would be the same as no bond, since Tibbs’ family couldn’t raise that much money.