March 30, 2012- The Midwest’s Hutaree militia had two of its members temporarily leave jail after pleading guilty to possession of machine guns. On Thursday, the two were freed after a judge went against prosecutors and dismisses charges that were more serious. The prosecutors wanted to charge the two with plotting an attack against the government.
The group’s leader David Brian Stone and one of his sons Joshua both pleaded guilty in Detroit in federal court of possessing a machine gun, to Judge Victoria Roberts. Seven members of the Hutaree had been arrested 24 months ago following an FBI undercover operation.
The seven were originally charged with plotting an attack on the government using weapons of mass destruction. The Stones were the last two of the seven who were still incarcerated.
On Tuesday, Judge Roberts surprised many and dismissed the major charges the Hutaree were facing. She said the prosecutors failed to provide enough evidence that the group were plotting an attack and not just talking about hating authority.
The Judge’s decision is unusual, as normally the decision is left in the jury’s hands and not dismissed by a judge. The ruling hurts the government’s attempt to warn of the threat these groups present.
A great deal of the evidence the prosecution had against the seven members was video and audio recordings that an undercover FBI agent and his paid informant made. Both had infiltrated the group.