9th militia suspect to face charges

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WHEATLAND TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — The U.S. Attorney’s Office said the last of nine members of a Christian militia group charged with plotting to kill police will be arraigned Tuesdayi n a Detroit federal court.

Spokeswoman Gina Balaya said 21-year-old Joshua Matthew Stone will face a hearing at 1 p.m.

Stone peacefully surrendered Monday night in Hillsdale County’s Wheatland Township.

Authorities say Stone’s father and seven others charged Monday were part of the Michigan-based Hutaree. They say the group plotted to kill a police officer and slaughter scores more by bombing the funeral — all in hopes of touching off an uprising against the government.

The other suspects were arrested during weekend raids in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio.

Most of the arrests came during weekend raids in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio. FBI agents moved quickly against Hutaree because members planned an attack sometime in April, prosecutors said. Authorities seized guns but would not say whether they found explosives.

The arrests dealt “a severe blow to a dangerous organization that today stands accused of conspiring to levy war against the United States,” Attorney General Eric Holder said.

In an indictment, prosecutors said the group began military-style training in the Michigan woods in 2008, learning how to shoot guns and make and set off bombs.

David Brian Stone, 44, of Clayton, Mich., and Joshua Stone were identified as ringleaders. David Stone, known as “Captain Hutaree,” organized the group in paramilitary fashion, prosecutors said. Ranks ranged from “radoks” to “gunners,” according to the group’s Web site.

“It started out as a Christian thing,” Stone’s ex-wife, Donna Stone, told The Associated Press. “You go to church. You pray. You take care of your family. I think David started to take it a little too far.”

Donna Stone said her ex-husband pulled her son, David Brian Stone Jr., into the movement. The arrest of Joshua Stone on Monday night happened 30 miles from the site of the Michigan raid, at a home where he was found with five other adults and a child.

“We’re guessing he’s been in there at least a day,” Andrew Arena, head of the FBI’s field office in Detroit, said after Joshua Stone surrendered.

Arena noted the pleas from Stone’s family and friends. “They worked with us. They recorded some messages for us,” he said.

Prosecutors said David Stone had identified certain law enforcement officers near his home as potential Hutaree targets. He and other members discussed setting off bombs at a police funeral, using a fake 911 call to lure an officer to his death, killing an officer after a traffic stop, or attacking the family of an officer, according to the indictment.

After such attacks, the group allegedly planned to retreat to “rally points” protected by trip-wired explosives for a violent standoff with the law.

“It is believed by the Hutaree that this engagement would then serve as a catalyst for a more widespread uprising against the government,” the indictment said.

The charges against the nine suspects include seditious conspiracy — plotting to levy war against the U.S. — possessing a firearm during a crime of violence, teaching the use of explosives, and attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction — homemade bombs.

Hutaree says on its Web site its name means “Christian warrior.” The group quotes several Bible passages and declares: “We believe that one day, as prophecy says, there will be an Anti-Christ. … Jesus wanted us to be ready to defend ourselves using the sword and stay alive using equipment.”

The Web site does not list specific grievances against law enforcement and the government.