A former United States marine and gun rights activist has been taken into custody on felony drug and weapons charges. His criminal charges include possession of hallucinogenic mushrooms while in possession of a firearm. According to a police spokeswoman, the 31-year-old was served a warrant before his home was raided. Multiple firearms and other materials were removed from his home in the five-hour search.
According to a statement from the activist's roommate, the arrest came as no surprise to the outspoken political activist. In a recent act of civil disobedience, Kokesh was seen in a video loading a shotgun in Washington D.C.'s Freedom Plaza to mark Independence Day. Among the items removed from Kokesh's home were the shotgun used in the video and materials used to make the video.
While being held in an adult detention center, Kokesh went on to stage another protest by refusing to leave for his arraignment. According to a statement on Kokesh's website, police officers did not present him with a warrant before knocking down his door and lighting a flash grenade. Forced to sit handcuffed on the floor, Kokesh reported being kicked by an officer when he asked to use the bathroom.
Gun owners in the state of Washington are allowed to carry firearms openly as long as they do not intend to intimidate or alarm the public. If a gun owner is arrested for staging an armed protest like Kokesh, a criminal defense lawyer could help to establish that the accused was practicing free speech. If there was an error in obtaining the search warrant, this could also help the defense to move to exclude any evidence that was collected.
Source: USA Today, "Gun activist arrested on drug, weapons charges", Doug Stanglin,, July 10, 2013