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N.H. tax evaders taken into custody after standoff

  • Story Highlights
  • Browns were sentenced in absentia in April
  • Couple had previously refused to surrender to authorities
  • Browns have insisted no valid law required them to pay income taxes
  • Couple's N.H. home had become a rallying spot for anti-government supporters
  • Next Article in U.S. »
From CNN's Deb Feyerick and Eden Pontz
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(CNN) -- A couple convicted of tax evasion was taken into custody after a five-month-long standoff with federal agents in New Hampshire, a federal law enforcement source with knowledge of the investigation told CNN.

Ed and Elaine Brown, who had refused to surrender to authorities to serve their prison sentences, were taken into custody without incident Thursday evening by U.S. Marshals at about 8:00 p.m.

The Browns had been holed up in their concrete-reinforced home in Plainfield, New Hampshire.

They were convicted of evading $1.9 million in taxes -- a crime punishable by up to five years in prison. The Browns were sentenced in absentia in April.

Throughout the ordeal, the Browns insisted there was no valid law that requires them to pay income taxes.

"We have committed no crime and we will not go to prison for non-crimes," Elaine Brown told CNN in June.

Marshals cut off utilities to the house in early June, but the Browns told CNN it was not much of a hardship because they had their own wind turbine, as well as solar panels that provided some electricity.

Also, their property covers more than 103 acres, so there was plenty of wood to keep them warm in the winter, they said.

The couple and their New Hampshire home had become a rallying spot for anti-government supporters. Randy Weaver -- a survivor of the 1992 incident in Ruby Ridge, Idaho -- had recently visited the Browns to show his support.

Over the summer, the Browns invited their supporters and friends to an outdoor party on their property that included live music, bocci and barbeque. Their online invitations asked attendees to "stand in solidarity with the Browns against income tax fraud and celebrate freedom."

U.S. Marshal Steve Monier told CNN the service had no desire to engage in a violent confrontation with the Browns. "But warrants aren't going away. They will serve their prison sentence," he added.

The Browns, who are in their 60s, now likely face a host of other charges.

They accumulated the back taxes between 1996 and 2003, in part from money made from Elaine's private dental practice.

Four people accused of aiding and abetting the Browns, including one man who allegedly provided security, were arrested and taken into custody in mid-September. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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