11 arrested after standoff with state police on Massachusetts interstate

WAKEFIELD, Mass. — Eleven men were arrested on Saturday after a standoff with Massachusetts State Police on an interstate, which prompted stay-in-place orders for residents and caused the shutdown of a portion of Interstate 95.

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Update 11:17 p.m. EDT July 3: Eleven males, including a 17-year-old, were arrested, according to the Massachusetts State Police. Two of the men refused to identify themselves, but the others were from Michigan, New York and Rhode Island, WFXT reported.

The eight men who were identified are being held on $100,000 cash bail at the Billerica House of Correction, the television station reported.

They are expected to be arraigned next week in Malden District Court.

“The group claimed that it was traveling from Rhode Island to Maine to conduct what it refers to as ‘training,’” David Procopio, a spokesperson for the Massachusetts State Police, told reporters. “None of the men, who were dressed in military fatigues and body armor and were armed with long guns and pistols, has a license to carry firearms.”

Update 11:40 a.m. EDT July 3: State police said two more people were arrested, bringing the total number of arrests to 11. The two additional suspects were found in their vehicles.

Update 10:45 a.m. EDT July 3: State police said all nine members of the group are in custody. Investigators will check their vehicles for additional weapons. Two other members were previously arrested.

Original report: State police said two of the members were arrested while six others fled into the woods, WFXT reported. Police said the men refused to comply with orders including providing their information and putting down their weapons.

Interstate 95 was closed from Lynnfield and Stoneham. A shelter-in-place order was issued for residents in Wakefield and Reading.

Police confirmed a group called Rise of the Moors posted a video from the scene live on social media early Saturday morning, WFXT reported.

In the more than 15 minute video a man, who does not identify himself or the group, asked police to speak to a supervisor multiple times so that the group could “continue on our peaceful journey to our private land.”

The man was wearing military fatigues and a body camera. Other members can be seen in the video wearing camouflage and holding assault-style weapons.

A trooper stopped to help two cars with about 8 to 10 people who were pulled over onto the shoulder. It looked like they were refueling. However, the officer noticed they were wearing military-style clothes and were armed with multiple firearms. He asked the group for their driver’s licenses and gun permits. Police said the group did not have any available. The group then scattered into the woods, police said.

“We’re committed to a negotiation with them, having a conversation, we’re going to utilize time, time is our ally in this,” State Police Col. Christopher Mason said.