Three Arrested After Deputies Locate Explosives in Their Vehicle and Home: Report
Originally published as a San Bednardino Sheriff’s Department Nixle post:
“On June 18, 2022, at about 10:09 a.m., deputies assigned to the Morongo Basin Sheriff’s Station were conducting proactive patrol near the intersection of Twentynine Palms Highway and Old Woman Springs Road. Deputy Carlos conducted a traffic stop on a white Ford Taurus for California vehicle code violations.
The driver was identified as David Russell, and the front passenger was Jeffrey Russell. During the investigation, deputies discovered the subjects claimed to be sovereign citizens. A further records check identified both subjects as prohibited persons from owning or possessing firearms. Deputies continued the investigation and found live ammunition, black gun powder, and an improvised military-grade explosive device, inside the vehicle. Personnel with Sheriff’s Bomb and Arson Division arrived and safely disposed of the device in a safe area. While continuing to investigate, deputies learned additional explosives were located on a property in Johnson Valley. A search warrant was obtained for the location.
Deputies, with the assistance of Bomb and Arson, served the search warrant in a remote sovereign citizen compound in Johnson Valley. A female occupant was detained and identified as Venus Mooney. A search was conducted, and additional military-grade explosives, ammunition, and firearms were found. Bomb and Arson handled the explosive devices and properly disposed of them.
David Russell, Jeffrey Russell, and Venus Mooney were arrested and booked at the Morongo Basin Jail for PC 18710, possession of an explosive device, and HS 11370.1, possession of a controlled substance while armed. All suspects are being held without bail, pending a court appearance.”