DETROIT (AP) — Experts say the stunning acquittal of seven Michigan militia members charged with conspiring to wage war against the government could make agents reluctant to pursue other investigations against a rising number of so-called patriot groups.The FBI's 18-month probe of the Hutaree militia produced major charges of conspiring to rebel against the government and use weapons of mass destruction. But after weeks of trial, a judge on Tuesday dismissed the most serious charges.Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center says the civil rights group counted more than 1,200 anti-government groups last year. He says some members never commit a crime while others are violent.Former federal prosecutor Lloyd Meyer says the government should have narrowed the Hutaree case to just a few "violent sharks."

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