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After Impasse With Cops, Heavily Armed Men Vanish Into Woods

Mass. cops in armed standoff arrest 11 from group that said it does 'not recognize our laws'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 3, 2021 9:00 AM CDT
Updated Jul 3, 2021 3:20 PM CDT

(Newser) – An hourslong standoff with a group of heavily armed men that partially shut down Interstate 95 ended Saturday with 11 suspects in custody, Massachusetts state police said. Police initially reported nine suspects were taken into custody, but two more were arrested in their vehicle later Saturday morning. The standoff had prompted shelter-in-place orders in some areas and sparking massive delays on the holiday weekend. It began around 2am ET when police noticed two cars pulled over on I-95 with hazard lights on, authorities said at a press briefing, per the AP. Some of the men were clad in military-style gear with long guns and pistols, state police Col. Christopher Mason said. The men refused to put down their weapons or comply with authorities' orders, claiming to be from a group "that does not recognize our laws," police said. The men also informed cops they were headed from Rhode Island to Maine for "training," Mason said, per ABC News.

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Officials say they made two initial arrests, while other men who claimed they were part of the "Moorish American Arms" group fled into a wooded area. After negotiators talked to suspects in the woods, they were finally taken into custody around 10:30am, per an MSP update. "We will now conduct sweeps of their 2 vehicles and woods," the statement noted. The standoff shut down part of I-95 in Wakefield in both directions, prompting heavy traffic as people hit the road for the Fourth of July weekend. Residents in Wakefield and nearby Reading were advised to lock their doors and shelter in place during the standoff. Wakefield police said in its statement that no threats were made but that the men had been considered armed and dangerous. Police and prosecutors were deciding Saturday what charges the members of the group will face. The suspects were scheduled to appear in court in Woburn on Tuesday,

(Read more Massachusetts stories.)

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