DETROIT (WWJ/AP) - A woman acquitted this year in a major militia trial says federal agents tampered with guns that were returned to her after the trial.
Tina Stone says the barrel on her shotgun was replaced with a cheaper barrel, and the bolt on an AR-15 had similar treatment. Stone wants the government to pay more than $300 to have the guns repaired.
She also believes she’s entitled to $20,000 for possessions seized by the FBI but not returned. The government has until Dec. 4 to respond. A court hearing is set for Jan. 25.
Stone and seven other members of the Hutaree militia were cleared of charges that they conspired to launch a violent rebellion against the government, first by killing a police officer and then attacking the funeral.
U.S. District Judge Victoria Roberts dismissed the case before jury deliberations, saying there might have been “something fishy” going on but that prosecutors had failed to show a specific plot to use force against the government. It was an embarrassing defeat for the FBI and the U.S. attorney’s office in Detroit after months of investigation that involved secretly recorded video and audio, a paid informant and an undercover agent.
Defense lawyers said the Hutaree were simply “weekend warriors” who engaged in stupid, hateful speech, but nothing criminal. They said offensive talk was wrongly turned into a high-profile criminal case. Read more, here.
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