hutaree militia

Hutaree facebook page

DETROIT (AP) - Two members of a Michigan-based militia acquitted last year of plotting to overthrow the U.S. government have filed a federal lawsuit against three FBI agents and a state police trooper.

Michael Meeks of Manchester and Thomas Piatek of Whiting, Ind., say their constitutional rights were violated during raids on their homes in 2010.

The two Hutaree members as well as three members of Meeks' family filed the lawsuit late last month in U.S. District Court in Detroit.

US Justice Department

DETROIT (AP) - Prosecutors agree that a man who was a member of a southern Michigan militia shouldn't be sent to prison when he returns to court for his sentence next month.

Two days after a federal judge in Detroit dismissed charges against seven "Hutaree" militia members in Michigan, the leader of the group and his son have plead guilty to a lesser weapons charge.

More from the Associated Press:

Hutaree leader David Stone and Joshua Stone pleaded guilty Thursday to possessing a machine gun in a deal with federal prosecutors in Detroit. The pleas end a six-week trial that began with seven militia members charged with conspiring to go to war against the government and to use weapons of mass destruction.

Two years ago, nine Hutaree militia members were indicted by a federal grand jury in Detroit "on charges of seditious conspiracy, attempted use of weapons of mass destruction, teaching the use of explosive materials, and possessing a firearm during a crime of violence."

Seven of the members were ultimately brought to trial. U.S. District Judge Victoria Roberts said the government failed to present evidence of a plan against the government.

Today's plea on the weapons charges by David and Joshua Stone brings an end to the government's case.

base photo U.S. Marshals / Michigan Radio

Update 3:14 p.m.

A year ago, the seven militia members standing trial were indicted by a federal grand jury "on charges of seditious conspiracy, attempted use of weapons of mass destruction, teaching the use of explosive materials, and possessing a firearm during a crime of violence."

The Detroit Free Press reports all charges were dropped against 5 of the defendants, but weapons charges remain for two of them.

Among those cleared of any wrongdoing is Tina Stone, Stone Sr.’s wife, whose lawyer argued all along that the government had no case.

“We’re just grateful to Judge Roberts for having the courage to do the right thing ... very few judges have that kind of courage,” said attorney Michael Rataj, who is representing Tina Stone.

“There was no case. There was no conspiracy,” Rataj argued, further claiming the case was the result of overzealous federal agents.

In the opening statements of the trial, defense attorney William Swor said to the jury, "You will have to decide whether this is a real conspiracy or David Stone exercising his God-given right to blow off steam and open his mouth."

With the judges decision today, the jury won't have to decide.

2:05 p.m.

The Associated Press is reporting a judge has dismissed key charges against members of a Michigan militia who were accused of plotting attacks against the government.

Seven members of the Hutaree militia have been standing trial in a federal court in Detroit.

From the Associated Press:

The Tuesday decision is an embarrassment for the government, which secretly planted an informant and an FBI agent inside the Hutaree militia and claimed members were armed for war in rural
southern Michigan.

Detroit federal Judge Victoria Roberts made her decision five days after prosecutors rested their case. Her decision affects all seven militia members who've been on trial since Feb. 13. Only weapons charges remain against two of the defendants.

Prosecutors say Hutaree members were anti-government rebels who combined training and strategy sessions to prepare for a violent strike against federal law enforcement. Defense lawyers said offensive talk was wrongly turned into a high-profile criminal case.

Base photo U.S. Marshals / Michigan Radio

DETROIT (AP) - Jurors at the trial of seven Michigan militia members have watched dramatic video of bombs made by investigators from materials or diagrams linked to the group.

The jury heard loud booms Thursday and saw close-up photos of the impact of explosives on cars. Members of the Hutaree militia are charged with conspiring to rebel against the government as well as conspiring to use weapons of mass destruction.

(Courtesy of the US Marshal's Service)

DETROIT (AP) — An FBI agent who trained with a southern Michigan militia says he was concerned about the leader's knowledge of explosives.

Steve Haug testified Friday in the trial of seven people charged with conspiring to rebel against the government. He posed as a truck driver in 2009 to join the Hutaree and secretly record conversations.

base photo U.S. Marshals / Michigan Radio

You'll be seeing a lot of news about the trial of seven militia members accused of plotting a violent uprising against the government in the coming weeks.

Their trial got underway today in U.S. District Court in Detroit with Judge Victoria Roberts presiding.

A little background - nine Hutaree militia members were arrested in March of 2010.

Prosecutors say they were plotting to kill an unidentified police officer in April 2010, and to follow up that attack with more attacks on officers gathering for a funeral for the police officer.

A federal grand jury indicted the nine "on charges of seditious conspiracy, attempted use of weapons of mass destruction, teaching the use of explosive materials, and possessing a firearm during a crime of violence."

One of the nine initial defendants, two are not part of this trial:

  • Joshua Clough of Blissfield, Michigan made a deal with prosecutors and could be called as a witness during the trial.
  • Jacob Warn of Huron, Ohio was found temporarily incompetent to stand trial. He's expected to be tried later.

Twelve jurors and four alternates were selected during a final round of jury selection this morning in Detroit.

Judge Victoria Roberts told those chosen that the job is a "heavy responsibility."

Dina Temple-Raston / NPR

Jury selection for the trial of Michigan Hutaree militia members will wrap up early next week. Today, one potential juror threw prosecutors for a loop, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Members of the militia are accused of plotting the murders of several police officers as a violent protest against the government. As Michigan Radio's Steve Carmody reported, the case against the militia members "was developed during an undercover investigation of the group."

Today, the Detroit Free Press reported that of the 74 potential jurors vetted this week, all but one said they were o.k. with undercover work by police:

Not juror number 382, a former assistant manager for a logistics company who lost his job two years ago and now spends most of his time caring for a school-aged daughter recovering from a kidney transplant. He said he believes spying on people is an invasion of privacy.

“You’re basically paying someone to lie and deceive people. I don’t think that’s right,” said the potential juror.

The judge allowed the juror into the pool. Final juror selections will be made next week.

(photo taken from a Hutaree Militia website)

Jury selection is scheduled to begin tomorrow in the case of members of a Christian militia group accused of plotting attacks on Michigan police officers.

 Members of the Hutaree Militia are accused of plotting to murder a police officer.  Then attack the officer’s funeral procession, in order to kill more law enforcement officers.     The attacks were allegedly to inspire an insurrection against the government