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Seven people have been charged with burglary after police found them living in a vacant home in Waldorf, the Charles County Sheriff’s Office reported.

At 7 p.m. June 19, officers were called to a house in the 4900 block of Olympia Place in Waldorf after witnesses observed unusual activity. When officers arrived, they learned the house was owned by a bank and should have been vacant. Instead, officers found seven people living inside. The occupants said they were sovereign citizens and claimed they had the right to “occupy” the house because it was vacant.

The suspects, Lamont Butler, 29; Artez Womack, 28; Kenneth Mitchell Jr., 19; Rashid Daniels, 25; Lashonda Washington, 28; Sakita Holly, 34; and Tia Carpenter, 46, were arrested and charged with burglary.

Carpenter also was charged with assaulting an officer after she bit him in the arm as he was placing her under arrest, police reported.

Law enforcement agencies across the country have been dealing with people claiming sovereign citizen ideology for years, the sheriff’s office reported.

According to the sheriff’s office, sovereign citizens are people who possess strong anti-federal government views. They often do not recognize laws pertaining to paying taxes, registering motor vehicles and having proper identification, police said.

Two of the suspects in this case were recently charged in Montgomery County for breaking in to a vacant house and claiming sovereignty there; they posted bond in that case and are awaiting trial, police reported.

Officers assigned to patrol operations and detectives assigned to the criminal investigations division are continuing the investigation.