Monday, March 29, 2010

NINE MEMBERS OF A MILITIA GROUP CHARGED WITH SEDITIOUS CONSPIRACY AND RELATED CHARGES

Six Michigan residents, along with two residents of Ohio and a resident of
Indiana, 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, United States

Attorney Barbara L. McQuade and FBI Special Agent in Charge Andrew Arena


The five count indictment, which was unsealed today, charges that between

August 2008 and the present, the defendants, David Brian Stone, 45, his wife, Tina

Stone, 44, his son, Joshua Matthew Stone, 21, of Clayton, Michigan, and his other son,

David Brian Stone, Jr., 19, of Adrian, Michigan, Joshua Clough, 28, of Blissfield,

Michigan, Michael Meeks, 40 of Manchester, Michigan, Thomas Piatek, 46, of Whiting,

Indiana, Kristopher Sickles, 27, of Sandusky, Ohio, and Jacob Ward, 33, of Huron,

Ohio, acting as a Lenawee County Michigan militia group called the Hutaree, conspired

to oppose by force the authority of the U.S. government. According to the indictment,

Hutaree members view local, state, and federal law enforcement as the “brotherhood”,

their enemy, and have been preparing to engage them in armed conflict.

The indictment further alleges that the Hutaree planned to kill an unidentified

member of local law enforcement and then attack the law enforcement officers who

gather in Michigan for the funeral. According to the plan, the Hutaree would attack law

enforcement vehicles during the funeral procession with Improvised Explosive Devices

with Explosively Formed Projectiles, which, according to the indictment, constitute

weapons of mass destruction. Subsequently, and in furtherance of this plan, David

Brian Stone, the Hutaree’s leader, obtained information about such devices over the

internet and emailed diagrams of such devices to a person he believed capable of

manufacturing the devices. He then had his son, Joshua Matthew Stone, and others

gather materials necessary for the manufacturing of such devices.

According to the indictment, in June 2009, David Brian Stone and his other son,

David Brian Stone, Jr., taught other Hutaree members how to make and use explosive

devices intending or knowing that the information would be used to further a crime of

violence. In addition, the grand jury charged all nine defendants with carrying or

possessing a firearm during a crime of violence on at least one occasion.

U.S. Attorney McQuade said, “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."

Andrew Arena, FBI Special Agent in Charge, said, "This is an example of radical

and extremist fringe groups which can be found throughout our society. 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 FBI

would like to thank our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners who are

member of the Joint Terrorism Task Force, for their assistance in this case."

As of this morning, eight of the nine defendants are in custody and seven of

them will be making their initial appearance before United States Magistrate Judge

Donald A. Scheer at 10 am. Joshua Stone is currently a fugitive. Any person with

information as to the whereabouts of this individual should contact the Federal Bureau

of Investigation at (313) 965-2323.

The charge of seditious conspiracy carries a statutory maximum penalty of 20

years in prison, Attempted Use of a Weapon of Mass Destruction carries a statutory

maximum penalty of life in prison, Teaching the Use of Explosives Materials carriers a

statutory maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and Possessing a Firearm During a

Crime of Violence carries a mandatory minium penalty of at least 5 years in prison.

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is

entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government's burden to prove guilt beyond a

reasonable doubt.

The case was investigated by special agents of the FBI and the Michigan State

Police.

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