The man accused of threatening the Laguna Beach City Council—through an online advertisement that included photos of him in camouflage holding what appears to be an automatic rifle—claims his arrest "was just a misunderstanding" involving a "publicity stunt" for his latest music video.
Michael James Ross says the Orange County District Attorney's office "did not press any charges," which is technically true. The case was sent back to the Laguna Beach Police Department for further investigation, says Susan Kang Schroeder, the OCDA chief of staff.
A search warrant was served Jan. 9 at Ross’ home in the 21500 block of Tree Top Lane as a result of the craigslist ad, which included the words, “I am warning the city council that I am going to show up with my gillie suit, to remove these tyrants from office, in 2017. Call the police and the city council and tell them I am coming to end this corruption, from the Laguna Beach City Council, once and for all. Hahahahahaha, you are going down now."
Members of the Laguna Beach Police Department and the Orange County sheriff’s SWAT team reportedly found six rifles, a semiautomatic handgun and more than 100 boxes of ammunition. The discovery led to the arrest of Michael's 75-year-old father Robert Mason Ross, a longtime Laguna Beach resident and unsuccessful 2012 City Council candidate, for allegedly being a convicted felon is possession of firearms.
That arrest was also the result of a misunderstanding, according to 33-year-old Ross, who says his father believed the order against him possessing firearms had expired.
"They are putting an American legend in jail," he said of his dad, who he called "a famous Hollywood editor" best known for working on TV's The Dukes of Hazzard. A check of imdb.com shows a Robert M. Ross was the editor on six episodes of the show that aired in 1979-80 as well as on the 1978 horror flick Spawn of the Slithis and the 1979 NBC movie Institute for Revenge starring George Hamilton.
As for the younger Ross' showbiz credits, he says Captain Teemo is the name of his character in the YouTube music video he was promoting via his "field trick." The video Teemo Shroom Field Tricks 1 vs 5 Quadra Kill has received 2 million views when you add in numbers from Latin America not reflected on this YouTube page that shows 1.5 million views, Ross tells the Weekly.
Another YouTube video he posted Friday combines a KTLA report on his arrest and raw footage of his entire interview with Channel 5's Chip Yost from two days before. Ross subtitled it, "The end of journalism in America? Help."
"This recording is for my listeners to watch," Ross explains. "The mainstream media doesn't ever give the people the true story always. This is why we have the independent media."
The distraction from his arrest and worrying about his father takes him away from his own reports on "cancer and science research," he says.
"It is becoming too difficult for me to prosecute many of these companies, such as DuPont," says Ross, who runs the website MonsantoInvestigation.com. "It is my job as a journalist to stop companies such as DuPont from harming the people. I did not break any laws. Please do not let them falsely arrest me again."
On MonsantoInvestigation.com, Ross has posted links to other TV news stories on his arrest, including KABC-7 and KCBS/KCAL reports. Meanwhile, on his blog Laguna Beach Government Corruption Investigated, he draws a connection between his arrest and his reporting in a post that went up Monday. Under the header "Asbestos Contamination & Our Waterways in Orange County," Ross writes, "While making this article, I was a victim of police brutality in Laguna Beach, on multiple occasions. It is the will of the free press to stand up against corruption that harms the American people."
He then vows to "go into detail about my false detainment by the City of Laguna Beach" in chapter four of his "book" posted on MonsantoInvestigation.com. This lowly reporter nosed around but could not find it.
Meanwhile, Ross says, "I want to start my own family and live in peace. I want to continue to release more books and more documentaries as well. I feel that they are trying to disable the free press. I have always preached peace and non-violence. Many of these news reports will not mention my website. ... This is what the government and the mainstream media do not want you to know about."
One other plea: He wants his guns back.
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Indeed, it is difficult to weigh his supposed quest to live in peace with this: "I did not break any laws. I deserve to have my guns back. The real problem is many of the anti-gun voters and politicians in California. Look at how they demonize just having seven guns and over 100 boxes of ammo. Remember, this is America we are living in. You will never get all my guns."
But having guns where they are not supposed to be has drawn law enforcement attention to Ross before.
He pointed me to a blog he contributes to with the instruction "to view why I was illegally detained in Humboldt County, California. This was for having a firearm on a cannabis farm. I had two more firearms seized on a cannabis farm that I was guarding."
It's worth scrolling to the comments below the post from people who do not agree the real problem is many of the anti-gun voters and politicians in California. No, these folks maintain, it's Bulgarians.