Militia Members Sue Authorities Over Gun Raids
DETROIT (WWJ/AP) - Two members of the Hutaree Militia are suing the FBI and the Michigan State police, claiming their constitutional rights were violated when their homes were raided and guns were confiscated.
Michael Meeks of Manchester and Thomas Piatek of Whiting, Ind., as well as three members of Meeks’ family, filed the lawsuit late last month in U.S. District Court in Detroit.
Hutaree members were acquitted last year on charges of plotting to murder police officers and overthrow the government.
During the raids, in 2010, agents came away with 41 guns and 100,000 rounds of ammunition.
The Detroit Free Press reported the plaintiffs are seeking at least $25,000 in damages for each of the suit’s 16 counts.
FBI spokesman Simon Shaykhet said Tuesday he had no comment, and a message was left with a state police spokeswoman.
Prosecutors claimed the Hutaree were anti-government rebels who combined training and strategy sessions to prepare for a violent strike against federal law enforcement. The government said the Hutaree believed that President Obama was the “Anti-Christ,” and planned to start a domestic war.
Defense lawyers said the Hutaree were simply “weekend warriors” who engaged in stupid, hateful speech, but nothing criminal.
In a 2012 interview with Charlie Langton, the wife of Hutaree leader David Stone acknowledged a belief in the right to bear an unlimited number of arms – but said any anti-government plot “was just talk.”
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