Self proclaimed sovereign citizen, Brent Cole, found guilty of shooting a California Highway Patrol Officer and Bureau of Land Management Ranger at a makeshift campsite along the Yuba River in Nevada County. CHP Officer Greg Tassone says the office just heard from the Department of Justice.*
Tassone says the CHP had been anxiously awaiting the outcome of the trial and are pleased with the jury’s decision.
According to court documents, on June 14, 2014, a BLM ranger stopped Cole after he observed Cole driving his truck on a closed dirt road on BLM land near the South Yuba River campground. The ranger warned Cole not to drive on the road again and allowed him to leave without issuing him a citation. The ranger continued up the dirt road and discovered a makeshift campsite with two motorcycles — one of which had been reported stolen, and one had expired tags. The ranger requested the CHP’s help to impound the motorcycles. While he and a CHP officer were preparing to move the two motorcycles, Cole arrived at the campsite armed, and an exchange of gunfire took place. Cole wounded the BLM ranger in the left shoulder and the CHP officer in the right, lower leg. Cole was struck several times by law enforcement. Cole, the BLM ranger, and the CHP officer received medical attention.
This case was the product of a collaborative state and federal investigation involving the Bureau of Land Management, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the California Highway Patrol, Nevada County Sheriff’s Office, and the Nevada County District Attorney’s Office. Assistant United States Attorneys Michael D. McCoy and Heiko Coppola are prosecuting the case.
Cole is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Burrell on May 1, 2015. Cole faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years on each of his first two counts of conviction. He faces a term of up to 10 years on the third, which must be served consecutively to any sentence he receives on the first two counts. He also faces a fine of up to $750,000. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.