‘Crown Prince Emperor’ Found Guilty of DUI of ‘Botanicals’

Here's the tale of William McRae, who calls himself Crown Prince Emperor El Bey Bagby and says he owns 689,000 acres of the United States.

Crown Prince Emperor El Bey Bagby was found guilty on Tuesday in Bucks County for driving under the influence of botanicals.

Let’s back up.

Crown Prince Emperor El Bey Bagby is known legally as William McRae. The botanicals are marijuana. In 2009, a Lower Makefield police officer pulled over the Crown Prince — I’ll play along here, unless my editor decides I’m not allowed to — for driving a vehicle with a temporary, hard-to-read tag. The officer said he spotted blunt guts in El Bey Bagby’s car — which reeked of marijuana. Judge Wallace Bateman found McRae, 41, guilty of the DUI.

Simple, and not really much of a story except that El Bey Bagby asserts he has the rights to 689,000 acres of the United States, including most of the area that made up the Louisiana Purchase. “We would ask him things and he would go off into pretty much nonsense,” Richard Meehl, a Lower Makefield police officer, testified. In court yesterday, the Crown Prince said he wouldn’t say “marijuana,” calling it a copyrighted word. He said he used “botanicals” for his blood pressure.

He also claims to be a member of the now-disbanded Powhatan Renape tribe, once headquartered in New Jersey. Outside of court yesterday, he talked to the Bucks County Courier Times’s Hayden Mitman:

Asked to clarify his arguments, McRae after the trial referred to the Eye of Providence, the pyramid and all-seeing eye on the back of the $1 bill. McRae claims this was his family’s seal, and that its placement on American currency proves his lineage and rightful ownership of the land. He added that his family owns land in “over 100” countries.

Obviously, the Daily News’s Jason Nark profiled the Crown Prince last year. The man known as El Bey Bagby has control of the group’s phone number and has accepted artifacts on behalf of the tribe. Nark also noted the Crown Prince is wearing a Plains headdress and not one the Powhatan Renape tribe ever wore. Also, he attempted to raise $150,000 online; it ended with zero donations.

“We don’t know where he came from. We don’t know anything about him,” Obie Batchelor, a Powhatan Renape member, said. “He just popped up out of the woodwork. You can’t just pop up and claim yourself chief.”

Sentencing for his DUI is in 30 days.

[Bucks County Courier Times | Daily News]