I-Team: Alleged Co-Conspriator had Ties to Scientology - 8 News NOW

I-Team: Alleged Co-Conspriator had Ties to Scientology

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LAS VEGAS -- More details are emerging about the past of alleged co-conspirator Devon Newman. She is accused of helping mastermind a plot to kill a Las Vegas police officer.

Newman once achieved one of the highest ranks in the Church of Scientology's security and intelligence organization, known as Sea Org. Now, she's sits in a Las Vegas jail cell waiting to be tried by a court she says she does not recognize.

Newman's first court appearance, which happened Friday morning, showed defiance. She questioned the charging documents . She's accused of conspiring to kidnap a police officer, holding a show trial and executing the hostage.

"I object, I have hurt no one. I wish to be released on bail," she said.

Judge Conrad Hafen denied her request.

When the I-Team first met Devon Newman in 2010, she was smiling inside the Las Vegas Church of Scientology Celebrity Centre. She was in charge of Scientology's public relations efforts in Las Vegas. Since 2010, Newman spoke in the community about Scientology's outreach efforts, including Narconon, the addiction treatment center north of Las Vegas which was exposed in an I-Team investigation last year.

Narconon operated without a license while former patients accused the treatment center of serious health hazards. Sources tell the I-Team, Newman was sent by Scientology leadership to lead outreach in Las Vegas after serving years at Scientology's secretive security wing, known as Sea org.

In April, undercover officers spotted Newman conspiring as a member of the Sovereign Citizens movement, Metro Police said. Along with co-defendant David Brutsche, Newman allegedly declared her independence from state and federal laws.

Newman told 8 News NOW, in a jailhouse interview, how she feared police taking her rights.

"I am upset because if this can happen to me, it can happen to anyone. I have felt for a while now the police are out of control. That they are stopping people and searching them with no probable cause," She said.

Police have not linked Newman's previous Scientology work experience with her alleged Sovereign Citizen activities. The I-Team visited the Las Vegas Church of Scientology, but they declined to answer questions about Newman. The international spokespeople also did not provide a response about Newman's time in their security and intelligence wing.

The Church of Scientology and Celebrity Centre of Las Vegas released the following statement:

"The Church of Scientology follows the law of the land as is clearly covered in our scripture. Membership in groups which advocate violation of the law disqualifies an individual from membership in the Church of Scientology. Regarding your questions of activities of former rogue members of the Church more than 30 years ago, these people were removed from the Church by current leadership in the early 1980s and forbidden from ever serving again on Church staff. Their office was disbanded."

Nearly a dozen high ranking members of Scientology's leadership, including founder L. Ron Hubbard's wife, were federally convicted in 1978 for infiltrating and wire-tapping the Internal Revenue Service. Scientology has also not answered questions about similarities between the Sovereign Citizens movement and the previous actions of their church operatives.

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