Government's time line in Hutaree case

The Detroit Free Press/April 4, 2010

Assistant U.S. Attorney Ronald Waterstreet presented the following alleged time line Wednesday for U.S. Magistrate Judge Donald Scheer during a detention hearing for eight of the nine alleged Hutaree members. The defendants' lawyers dismissed the allegations as "double and triple hearsay."

Nov. 15, 2008: Joshua Clough and David Stone Sr. appear on a Webcast describing a trip-wire system that would later be shown in a YouTube video they shot.

Dec. 8, 2008: Clough - upset that the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives had been poking around about gun ownership - posts a message on a Web site that declares Hutaree members ready to go to war. Under the name Azuurlin, Clough allegedly writes: "We have and will return the fire - the question is, will you?" That same day, prosecutors allege, Stone Sr. sends an e-mail to Hutaree members stating that the ATF was looking to start a "fire fight."

Early June 2009: Hutaree trains, during which time Stone Sr. allegedly tells the group that law-enforcement officials would be the first they would have to fight, followed by the "Blue Helmets" - the term he had used to describe United Nations soldiers. About this time, the group creates a training video posted on that depicts Hutaree members fatally ensnaring one apparent law-enforcement official with a trip-wire explosive, while two more were ambushed in a field. At the video's end, the group burns the UN flag and puts a Hutaree flag in its place.

June 13, 2009: Members of the group meet for a training day in Clayton, where they divide into two squads - one led by Stone Sr., the other by his son, Joshua Stone. David Stone Jr., Stone Sr.'s adopted son, serves as the squads' opposition force and demonstrates various explosives.

July 25, 2009: Stone Sr. has a barbecue at his home where he shows an undercover federal agent electric matches, electrical wires and 20 cardboard tubes for IED (improvised explosive device) construction.

Aug. 13, 2009: At a meeting attended by the undercover agent, Stone Sr. allegedly estimates there to be 650,000 law-enforcement officials in the U.S., and says he thinks he could reduce the force to about 150,000 because officers would have to "weigh whether (they) want a paycheck or go home to (their) family."

August 2009: The undercover officer builds and demonstrates an explosive to convince Stone Sr. that he is capable of providing the Hutaree with any devices they might want. After the demonstration, Stone Sr. instructs on modifications to the device to increase its damage potential and ensure that its shrapnel can penetrate body armor.

November 2009: Stone Sr. takes group members to a rally point in Hillsdale County, where he instructs them on how to bury food, weapons and medical supplies in case they come under attack.

Dec. 12, 2009: Stone Sr. marries Tina Kelley. That day, Michael Meeks gives Stone Sr. a list of names, including those of some law-enforcement officials and judges, that some took to be a hit list.

Jan. 9: Stone Sr. announces that the Hutaree needs to amp up for a "real operation" in April. Members are instructed to wipe down bullets and shell casings to eliminate fingerprints. Kristopher Sickles, attempting to harden himself for war, allegedly kills his cat with a .357 handgun. He tells group members he needed to see whether he could kill something he cared about.

Jan. 20: The undercover officer receives an e-mail from Stone Sr. with the schematics of an explosively formed penetrator warhead.

Feb. 6: The group heads to Kentucky for a gathering of militia members. Stone Sr., Joshua Stone, Stone Jr., Tina Stone, Clough and others - including an undercover officer - pile in a van for the trip. But the weather is so bad that they turn around to come home once they hit Indianapolis. On the way back, Stone Sr. delivers to the group a speech he was to read at the gathering, in which he says it is time to "strike and take our nation back. Welcome to the New Revolution."

March 13: Joshua Stone, 21, marries his girlfriend, Shannon Witt, 18. Stone Sr. allegedly approaches the undercover officer and orders two explosives to be delivered as soon as possible to explode vehicles.

March 18: The undercover officer presses Stone Sr. by asking if he realizes that the explosives would kill every occupant in a vehicle. Stone Sr. says he does.

March 27: The FBI executes search warrants and arrests eight of the nine people targeted in a federal indictment. Joshua Stone, however, flees, "fulfilling the Hutaree plan," Waterstreet said. He sends alerts to Hutaree members, requests help from other militias, seeks weapons and retreats to a pre-identified rally point. He surrenders peacefully two days later.

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