March 29, 2010
In the wake of the FBI and Homeland Security raid on the Hutaree militia in Michigan over the weekend, the government has released its indictment.
“Nine members of a Lenawee County-based militia group were planning to ‘levy war’ against the United States and ‘oppose by force’ the nation’s government, according to an indictment released this morning in U.S. District Court in Detroit,” reports the Detroit News. “The five-count indictment was unsealed this morning and alleges that between August 2008 and the present, the defendants were attempting to use bombs and other weapons to oppose the U.S. government.”
In addition to weapons charges and use of a “weapon of mass destruction” (sic), the government plans to charge the defendants with sedition.
Sedition is regarded as falling one step short of the more serious crime of treason.
The seditious conspiracy charge carries a maximum prison term of 20 years. The charge of using a “weapon of mass destruction” may result in a life sentence for the defendants.
The accused include: David Brian Stone, 45; his wife, Tina Stone, 44; his son, Joshua Matthew Stone, 21, all three of Clayton; and his other son, David Brian Stone Jr., 19, of Adrian. Also, Joshua Clough, 28, of Blissfield; Michael Meeks, 40 of Manchester; Thomas Piatek, 46, of Whiting, Ind.; Kristopher Sickles, 27, of Sandusky, Ohio; and Jacob Ward, 33, of Huron, Ohio.
“This is an example of radical and extremist fringe groups which can be found throughout our society,” Andrew Arena, FBI special agent in charge, told the newspaper. “The FBI takes such extremist groups seriously, especially those who would target innocent citizens and the law enforcement officers who protect the citizens of the United States.”
The Department of Homeland Security has worked closely with the Southern Poverty Law Center, long a source of conspiracy theories about militias.
In 2004, the FBI revealed the SPLC was involved with government operative and convicted Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh and the Aryan Republican Army at Elohim City. McVeigh’s contact at Elohim City was Andreas Carl Strassmeir, a former German intelligence officer. Peter Langan, the son of a retired U.S. Marine intelligence officer and said to be the leader of the Aryan Republican Army, was a government informant.
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
Radio talk show host and racist firebrand Hal Turner recently admitted in federal court that he worked for the FBI as a “National Security Intelligence” asset. “Turner also claims the FBI coached him to make racist, anti-Semitic and other threatening statements on his radio show, but the newspaper also found many federal officials were concerned that his audience might follow up on his violence rhetoric,” the Associated Press reported in November, 2009.
Turner’s code name was “Valhalla” and “he received thousands of dollars from the FBI to report on such groups as the Aryan Nations and the white supremacist National Alliance.
The FBI, under its long-running COINTELPRO, subsidized, armed, directed and protected the Klu Klux Klan and other racist groups.
“Because the Hutaree had planned a covert reconnaissance operation for April, which had the potential of placing an unsuspecting member of the public at risk, the safety of the public and of the law enforcement community demanded intervention at this time,” said Barbara McQuade, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan.
Hutaree means “Christian soldier,” according to the group, and members say they are preparing for battle with the Anti-Christ.
The indictment accuses the Christian group of planning to kill a member of law enforcement, possibly after a traffic stop, to “prompt a response by law enforcement.” The alleged goal of this murder, according to the government, would be to “intimidate and demoralize law enforcement, diminishing their ranks and rendering them ineffective.”
The indictment says the group then intended to use the incident to spark a “war” against law enforcement, using bombs, ambushes and prepared fighting positions.
It remains to be seen if the FBI had informers and agents provocateurs in the Hutaree militia.