42 Dugg Claims He’s a Sovereign Citizen and Exempt From Federal Laws, Prosecutors Say – Report
New details have emerged in the recent arrest of 42 Dugg. Prosecutors claim the Michigan rapper filed court documents claiming he was a sovereign citizen and is exempt from federal laws.
According to a report from Detroit News, published on Friday (May 6), prosecutors had a hearing on Thursday (May 5), detailing the FBI investigation and explaining why they believe Dugg was a flight risk.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Barbara Lanning said in court that in April, 42 Dugg, born Dion Hayes, filed documents in federal court in Georgia claiming he was exempt from federal laws as a sovereign citizen.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, sovereign citizens believe they are not under the jurisdiction of the federal government and consider themselves exempt from U.S. law.
This comes after the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives had secured a warrant that allowed them to track the location of the 26-year-old rapper’s cellphone and subsequently make an arrest on Wednesday (May 4) after Dugg flew to Willow Run Airport on a private jet from Memphis.
Prosecutors said that Dugg was arrested with $25,000 in cash and over $100,000 in jewelry. Lanning also claimed the private aircraft didn’t have an assigned flight number and that 42 Dugg’s government name wasn’t listed on the flight’s passenger manifest.
“He’s claimed more than $11 million worth of assets. He has access to a private plane with a pilot willing to fly an unnumbered flight where Mr. Hayes is not included on the flight’s manifest,” Lanning told old Executive U.S. Magistrate Judge David Grand on Thursday. “That’s not an accident. That’s not a happenstance.”
The arrest stems from 42 Dugg’s failing to report to a federal prison camp in West Virginia on April 12, after he was found guilty of illegal firearm possession and sentenced last November. Dugg could reportedly face up to five years in prison for refusing to report.
During the hearing, Dugg was represented by a pro-bono, court-appointed attorney, Casey Swanson, who denied that her client filed the paperwork. “Mr. Hayes did not flee,” she reportedly told the court. “He did not intentionally avoid a sentence in this case.”
Additionally, ATF Special Agent Brett Brandon was at the hearing and reportedly said in court that deputy U.S. Marshals and ATF have been looking for Dugg since April 28 and couldn’t find him in Atlanta, where he currently resides.
Swanson denied that Dugg was trying to hide from authorities. "He's on social media," she reportedly stated. "He's not hiding. He's going around in public."
During the hearing, according to Detroit News, agent Brandon alluded that more arrests could follow regarding Dugg’s apprehension. When a judge questioned whether investigators reached out to the rapper's family to determine his whereabouts, Brandon reportedly replied, "We would have reached out to his family, and I don't want to get into it further on the record, but there's other criminal matters pending that we are investigating.”
The hearing concluded with 42 Dugg being held in custody for extradition to Georgia to face the new criminal charge for failing to surrender. Then he will be sent to the prison camp.
XXL has reached out to 42 Dugg's team, the rapper's attorney and the Assistant U.S. Attorney for comment.