Thursday, March 29, 2012
Members of the Hutaree Militia Plead Guilty to Weapons Charges
David Stone, Sr., 47, and his son Joshua Stone, 23, members of the Hutaree Militia, pleaded guilty this morning in federal court to weapons charges, United States Attorney Barbara McQuade announced. Ms. McQuade was joined in the announcement by Andrew G. Arena, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation.
During a hearing this morning before United States District Judge Victoria Roberts, both David Stone, Sr. and Joshua Stone admitted that they possessed machine guns, specifically a Bushmaster .223 caliber rifle and a Double Star Corp. .223 caliber rifle, respectively, knowing that the firearms would shoot, and were designed to shoot, automatically more than one shot ,without manual reloading, by a single function of then trigger. Possession of such a firearm is in violation of federal gun laws.
Based on their guilty pleas, each defendant faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
United States Attorney McQuade said, “We are gratified that these felony convictions mean that these defendants will never be permitted to possess firearms again. The court’s order dismissing the more serious charges in this case was disappointing, but it does not shake our commitment to dismantling groups who would harm our citizens and law enforcement officers, and these efforts will continue. While we disagree with the court’s decision, we respect its role, and we recognize that reasonable minds can disagree on where legal lines are drawn. We thank the members of the jury for their time and service to this case.”
Ms. McQuade commended the efforts of Assistant United States Attorneys Christopher Graveline and Sheldon Light, along with the investigative cooperation of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force and other federal agencies who worked diligently throughout this investigation and lengthy trial.