In a recent development, the founder and creator of an anti-government website has been sentenced to prison for communicating interstate threats. Timothy Michael Dever, the individual responsible for the website known as the “People’s Bureau of Investigation” (PBI), was handed a 10-year prison term for aiding and abetting threatening interstate communications. His co-defendant, Darris Gibson Moody, also received a prison sentence of two years for making a threatening interstate communication. The website, which operated under the pretense of a fictitious court, disseminated templates for fake court judgments that allowed private citizens to conduct citizen’s arrests. This article explores the details of this case, reflecting on the dangerous implications of such actions and the consequences faced by the defendants.
In a recent case, the founder and creator of an anti-government website has been sentenced to prison for communicating interstate threats. Timothy Michael Dever, the founder of the fictitious entity called the “People’s Bureau of Investigation” (PBI), was sentenced to 10 years in prison for aiding and abetting threatening interstate communications. His co-defendant, Darris Gibson Moody, was also sentenced to two years in prison for making a threatening interstate communication.
Details of the Case
According to court documents, Dever was the creator and administrator of the PBI website. The website claimed to be a “U.S. Environmental District Court” that had convicted hundreds of public officials and private individuals of various bogus crimes. Dever hosted, maintained, and provided content for the website, including templates for court judgments known as “Writs of Execution.” These writs purportedly gave private citizens the authority to conduct a “citizen’s arrest” of the individuals named in the fake writs. The website also claimed that anyone who made a citizen’s arrest was eligible to receive a monetary reward of up to $20,000.
Dever promoted the fake writs as a mechanism for removing federal, state, and local officials from their positions. He made the templates for the fake writs available for download on the PBI website and provided videos and other resources on how to serve the writs. Additionally, Dever maintained a list on the website that contained the personal information of over 900 victims who had been falsely named as convicted defendants in the fake writs.
Moody, a like-minded member of the PBI group, generated fake arrest writs for 57 individuals and used software to fax the fake arrest notices to the recipients. The targets of these fake arrest writs included sheriffs, judges, and other government officials and private individuals.
As a result of their actions, Dever was sentenced to 10 years in prison and three years of supervised release, while Moody was sentenced to two years in prison and three years of supervised release.
The Founder’s Role
Timothy Michael Dever played a significant role as the founder and creator of the anti-government website, the People’s Bureau of Investigation (PBI). As the website’s administrator, Dever not only hosted and maintained the website, but he also provided content, including templates for fake court judgments called “Writs of Execution.” He actively promoted the fake writs as a means to remove government officials from their positions and made resources available on the website, such as videos and instructions on how to serve the writs. Dever’s actions played a crucial role in perpetuating this fraudulent scheme.
The Role of the Co-Defendant
Darris Gibson Moody, a co-defendant in this case, was a like-minded member of the PBI group. Moody actively participated in the scheme by generating fake arrest writs for 57 individuals, including government officials and private individuals. Moody used software to fax the fake arrest notices to the recipients, further exacerbating the impact of these threats. Moody’s involvement in this criminal activity contributed to the overall harm inflicted on the victims.
The Website and its Claims
The People’s Bureau of Investigation (PBI) website, created and administered by Timothy Michael Dever, served as a platform for promoting the fraudulent scheme. The website claimed to be a legitimate court, the U.S. Environmental District Court, and boasted about convicting hundreds of public officials and private individuals. It provided templates for fake court judgments called “Writs of Execution,” which were intended to authorize private citizens to make “citizen’s arrests” of the individuals named in the fake writs.
The website also made false claims about the potential punishments faced by those arrested, including monetary fines, imprisonment, and even death. It enticed individuals to make citizen’s arrests by offering a monetary reward of up to $20,000. The website allowed users to download the templates for the fake writs and provided resources, such as videos and instructions on how to serve the writs. Overall, the website played a central role in propagating the fraudulent claims and facilitating the harmful actions of the defendants and their associates.
Promotion of the Fake Writs
Timothy Michael Dever actively promoted the fake writs through the PBI website. He used various tactics to generate interest in the writs and encourage individuals to make citizen’s arrests. Dever provided resources such as videos and instructions that explained the purpose and process of serving the writs. One such video featured a recorded radio talk show where Dever and another individual discussed how private citizens could arrest government officials who they claimed had been convicted in the “highest court of the land.” These promotional efforts contributed to the dissemination of false information and the escalation of the threats posed by the fake writs.
List of Victims
The PBI website contained a list that included the names, home addresses, and personal information of over 900 victims who had been falsely named as convicted defendants in the fake writs. The victims were located in approximately 32 different states, demonstrating the nationwide impact of this criminal activity. The inclusion of such personal information exposed the victims to harassment, intimidation, and potential harm from individuals who believed the fraudulent claims propagated by the defendants.
Encrypted Communications and Fundraising
The PBI website facilitated encrypted communications among its group members through a digital app. This allowed them to communicate in online chatrooms and via text messages while maintaining a level of privacy. The use of encrypted communications made it difficult for law enforcement agencies to monitor and investigate the activities of the defendants and their associates.
In addition to promoting the fake writs, Timothy Michael Dever used the PBI website to raise funds. He solicited direct donations and also sold PBI merchandise. By capitalizing on the false claims and fear generated by the fake writs, Dever was able to exploit individuals who shared his anti-government sentiments. The funds raised through these activities likely contributed to the continued operation of the fraudulent scheme.
Impact of the Crimes
The crimes committed by Timothy Michael Dever, Darris Gibson Moody, and their associates had far-reaching consequences. The fake writs and the threats they represented put the lives of hundreds of individuals at risk. Victims targeted by the fake writs were subjected to harassment, intimidation, and death threats from individuals who believed the fraudulent claims circulated by the defendants. The inclusion of personal information, such as home addresses, further exacerbated the potential harm experienced by the victims.
Beyond the immediate impact on the victims, the crimes also undermined public trust in the government and the justice system. By promoting these fake writs and claiming to have convicted hundreds of public officials and private individuals, the defendants eroded confidence in the legitimacy of the legal system. The dissemination of false information and the threats posed by the fake writs created a climate of fear and uncertainty among individuals who were falsely named in the writs or who feared being targeted by proponents of the fraudulent scheme.
Overall, the sentencing of Timothy Michael Dever and Darris Gibson Moody serves as an important step towards holding these individuals accountable for their actions. It sends a clear message that the dissemination of threats and false information will not be tolerated, particularly when it puts innocent lives at risk. This case also underscores the importance of remaining vigilant against online platforms that promote harmful ideologies and engage in criminal activities. The diligent efforts of law enforcement agencies and the commitment to justice demonstrated by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of North Carolina are commendable and essential in safeguarding our society against such threats.