Two charged after attempting to claim ownership of NASCAR driver’s home
Published 12:05 am Tuesday, August 30, 2022
MOORESVILLE — A man and woman were arrested recently after apparently breaking into and trying to claim ownership of a NASCAR driver’s home that is currently for sale.
Rowan County Sheriff’s Office reported that Darius Trrone Hall, 29, and Nataijah Shaienna Fields, 37, of Columbia, S.C. allegedly broke into a home owned by NASCAR driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr. on Aug. 19 and were subsequently arrested.
Sheriff Kevin Auten has said the couple admitted to breaking into the home, but explained they are members of the Moorish Nation, which asserts, among other notions, that members are owners of all property.
“The Moorish sovereign citizen movement is a collection of independent organizations and lone individuals who emerged in the early 1990s as an offshoot of the antigovernment sovereign citizens movement, adherents of which believe that individual citizens hold sovereignty over, and are independent of, the authority of federal and state governments,” states the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). The movement is also closely connected to the Moorish Science Temple of America, which has a large membership in North Carolina, and communities surrounding Salisbury, including Charlotte and extending to Greensboro and beyond, are seeing an increase in criminal activity from members.
Squatting, which is what Hall and Fields were effectively doing in Stenhouse’s home, is one of several activities police are having to contend with more frequently.
“Federal, state and local law enforcement have encountered Moorish sovereigns committing a wide range of minor or white collar criminal activity including traffic violations, house squatting, tax fraud, financial scams and violations of government regulations,” says SPLC. “Moorish sovereigns believe their status as members of a sovereign nation imparts immunity from federal, state and local authorities. They use this perceived immunity to justify refusing to pay taxes, buy auto insurance, register their vehicles and to defraud banks and other lending institutions. Many Moorish sovereigns also profit by selling bogus registration, licensing and insurance documents on websites promoting Moorish sovereign beliefs and doctrines.”
Hall, who initially did not provide deputies with proper identification, was charged with breaking and entering, two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, second-degree trespassing and carrying a concealed gun. He was ordered held in custody on a $25,000 bond under the name John Doe until he provided proper identification. Fields was charged with breaking and entering, two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and second-degree trespassing.
Stenhouse’s home, with a reported five bedrooms, six baths, covering just shy of 10,000 square feet, is currently on the market for $15,995,000.
“My home was broken into and illegally occupied,” Stenhouse Jr. said in a statement. “I thank the Rowan County, North Carolina Sheriff’s Department for their prompt arrest of the suspects. I will have no further comment pending the outcome of any court proceedings against these individuals. Any claims by these individuals to a right in my property are without any basis in law or fact.”