'Sovereign citizen' charged in Florida copper wire theft claims 'legalese' doesn't apply to him

A man accused of stealing copper wiring from a Florida church claims the law doesn’t apply to him because he is a sovereign citizen.

Sheriff’s deputies in Seminole County said 43-year-old Marc Stanley attempted to break into East Coast Believers Church, which is undergoing extensive renovation, late Friday.

Investigators said large amounts of sheet metal and construction equipment are being stored in the 50,000-square-foot building.

The South Carolina man was unable to gain entry to the building, authorities said, so he instead stripped the copper wire from every light pole in the church’s parking lot.

"They felt about $20,000 had been stolen out of the light poles in the parking lot," said church spokeswoman Susan Gordon.

Deputies said Stanley argued during his arrest that he was a sovereign citizen, so “legalese did not apply to him.”

Stanley is currently held without bond on 43 counts, including grand theft and criminal mischief, at the Seminole County Jail.

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