Neighbors of Browns relieved at arrests

10/05/07 7:04AM

Neighbors of a couple convicted of tax evasion who were arrested peacefully at their Plainfield, New Hampshire home last night are relieved it's all over.

David Grobe, who lives about a quarter of a mile from the Browns, says he's glad Ed and Elaine Brown were arrested without incident.

Ed Brown had threatened violence if authorities came on his property.

Grobe, a former patient of Elaine Brown, who used to run a dental practice, says he noticed "an unusual amount of traffic all of a sudden'' passing by the house last night. He said he saw 30 to 40 cars passing by, but had no idea if it was authorities.

Neither he nor neighbor Robert Carpenter said they heard anything unusual. Carpenter said there were no marked cruisers, but a lot of large SUVs. He said he called the Plainfield Police and they called back and said what was going on.

Supporters of the Browns' cause called them leaders who were trying to protect their freedom. They discussed their support on an Internet-radio call-in talk show.

The Browns were convicted on federal tax charges in January and refused to turn themselves in to authorities when they were sentenced in April to five years and three months in prison.

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