Jakubowski in prison: 'I've been asking for freedom or death'

MADISON - Joseph, Jakubowski, the man who led federal and local authorities on a 10-day manhunt sat down for a one-on-one interview with our news partners in Madison to tell his side of the story. 

Jakubowski was arrested in April, after authorities say he stole guns, and sent an anti-government manifesto to the White House.

“Freedom...that's really it. Freedom because I was looking for happiness. What I felt when I was out there, freedom,” he said. 

Eight months after that freedom came to an end, Jakubowski is now in chains.

Jakubowski was convicted of stealing 18 guns and two silencers in September. He was never able to testify at his federal trial.

The 33-year old admits his decision to send a 161 anti-government page manifesto to the president was rushed, but stealing guns, burning his car and attempting to disappear and live only off the land was intentional.

“Unlike a lot of people, if I believe in something. I’m not afraid to die for it,” he said. “I don’t care the cause or consequence.”

He does have one regret. Jakubowski claims he wrote an apology letter to the owner of Armageddon Supplies in Janesville for stealing the guns. He claims he needed them to defend himself from the government.

“I wrote that simply because I did not want to do it,” he said. “I needed him to understand I didn't want to but I had the only way to take your freedom back is to steal it.”

As a convicted felon, Jakubowski was not legally allowed to purchase guns. Only five of the 18 firearms have been recovered.

“If I could have legally went in there and purchased them like everyone else, I would’ve. Watch me. No, I’m not gonna give them up,” he said. 

Schools and churches added extra security while authorities searched for him.

“I didn’t want an attack or anything like that originally but it probably would have led to that eventually,” he said. 

Still, he claims he never threatened kids. 

“I don’t mind being called a terrorist and all this other extreme because I did have an intent to attack the government, but to kill kids, no, no,” he said. 

Also, he said it was not his intention to invoke fear. 

“I wanted to show the public I stand for you,” he said. “I’m out to protect you against what they are doing. The people I’m actually trying to attack are the people you should be fearing which is the government, the corporations.”

Since his time in jail he sent letters that include copies of what he's written to judges and law enforcement. He claims he also sent another letter to the president offering solutions to fix what he describes as a corrupt government and law enforcement system. Those letters have been intercepted by the U.S. Marshal. 

“I've been asking for freedom or death,” he said. “I wrote that to the judge, I wrote that to the president. I wrote another letter to Donald Trump being more personal about things. I wrote him man to man, asking him the same thing." 

But he said he’s not suicidal. 

“No. But I'm not going to live like this. I will not live at peace with the government. If I can’t find peace, why keep me here?”

“I wasn't trying to hide,” he also said. “I wasn't trying to hurt anybody. It’s messed up, you gotta do extreme things in this world to get them to listen.”

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