Michigan Militia Group Charged With Police-Killing Plot
The FBI conducted weekend raids in three states and arrested eight people tied to a Michigan-based militia group that authorities say was conspiring to kill police officers.
WASHINGTON -- Nine suspects tied to a militia in the Midwest are charged with conspiring to kill police officers, then attack a funeral in the hopes of killing more law enforcement people, federal prosecutors said Monday.
U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade said agents moved on the group because the Hutaree members were planning a violent reconnaissance mission sometime in April -- just a few days away.
Members of the group called Hutaree are charged in the case, including their leader, David Brian Stone, also known as "Captain Hutaree."
Once other officers gathered for a slain officer's funeral, the group planned to detonate homemade bombs at the funeral, killing more, according to newly unsealed court papers.
The indictment includes charges of seditious conspiracy, possessing a firearm during a crime of violence, teaching the use of explosives, and attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction -- homemade bombs.
The indictment charges members of the group conspired "to levy war against the United States, (and) to oppose by force the authority of the government of the United States."
The charges follow FBI raids over the weekend on locations in Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana.
According to investigators, the purportedly Christian Hutaree militia view local, state, and federal law enforcement personnel as a "brotherhood" and an enemy, and planned to attack them as part of an armed struggle against the U.S. government.
Eight suspects have been arrested by the FBI, and one more is being sought. Of the eight captured, seven are due in court later Monday.
Andrew Arena, head of the FBI's field office in Detroit, said the case "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."