Accused cocaine distributor Clinton Williams Jr. put on sideshows in federal court in Pensacola, Fla., arguing that he was a “sovereign citizen,” recasting a serious, cross-border criminal case as a “civil” dispute and insisting that Senior U.S. District Judge Lacey A. Collier had no authority over him.
“Throughout the prosecution, Williams continually told the Court he was a ‘sovereign citizen’ and had no ‘ownership interest’ in the name Clinton Williams,” the office of U.S. Attorney Pamela Cothran Marsh of the Northern District of Florida said yesterday. “He said he believed the charges against him were ‘only civil disputes’ that he wished ‘to settle’ with the ‘claimant.’ He challenged the authority of Senior District Judge Collier to preside over the case.”
Collier ended that nonsense Tuesday, sentencing 31-year-old Williams to life in prison plus a concurrent 30 years for cocaine-related crimes in multiple states.
Prosecutors described Williams as “a leader in a multi-state cocaine distribution operation extending from Texas to Florida.”