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Eleven armed men who had a nine-hour standoff with Massachusetts State Police on I-95 over the holiday weekend say they shouldn’t have been arrested because they didn’t break any laws by driving through the state with a collection of firearms and tactical gear. The group is a self-proclaimed militia and political organization called Rise of the Moors, based in Rhode Island. According to police, the group is an offshoot of the Moorish Sovereign Ideology movement, whose followers believe they have no obligation to obey U.S. laws due to an alleged treaty with the nation of Morocco in the aftermath of the American Revolution. While the group maintains they did nothing wrong possessing weapons as they made their way across the state, they were arrested and charged with several weapons offenses, including unlawful possession. When they appeared in court on Tuesday and Wednesday, 9 of the 11 men pleaded not guilty, with a majority of them opting to represent themselves. They’re each being held on $100,000 bail at Billerica House of Correction in Middlesex County.

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