A jury Friday heard the leader of a southern Michigan militia talk about attacking police officers and his fear of foreign troops on U.S. soil in conversations secretly recorded by an FBI agent who infiltrated the group.
The conversations were played in court to accompany the testimony of agent Steve Haug, who posed as a New Jersey trucker and worked his way into the Hutaree. The militia's members are charged with conspiring to rebel against the government and illegally possessing weapons.
Haug participated in military-style training with the Hutaree in 2009 and often met with leader David Stone at his home and at a fast-food restaurant in Adrian, 75 miles southwest of Detroit. He said he was "shocked" by Stone's work with explosives, noting it matched some of his own instruction as a federal agent.
It was "clear to me that (Stone) had a working knowledge of explosives ... IEDs, things of that nature," Haug testified.
Prosecutors accuse seven members of the militia of plotting to wage war against the government, first by killing a police officer and then attacking the funeral. The jury has not yet heard evidence of a specific plan, although Stone rambles on about targeting officers.
"Them guys that wear them nice little badges. I call it the brotherhood. ... They work for the elitist in charge," he said.
In case of a domestic war, Stone was recorded saying he could drive around in a minivan, open the sliding door and shoot at officers on the side of the road.
"Then you roll to the next one. They start splintering off. Once you divide, you can conquer. ... They're going to be screaming on the radio, `We're under attack,' " Stone said. "There is no such thing as a good cop."
Earlier in the trial, the jury heard recordings of Stone expressing no reservations about killing the wives and children of officers. Defense lawyers say prosecutors have greatly exaggerated the seriousness of what's on the recordings. They acknowledge the talk is offensive _ but not proof of a rebellion in the works.
Stone seemed to have views on everything. During an informal gathering at his mobile home in Lenawee County, he was recorded talking about the government putting computer chips in flu vaccine. He said Germany and Singapore had aircraft stationed in Texas, and thousands of Canadian troops were poised to take over Michigan.
"Things ain't good," Stone said.
"Us older guys, we're going to be heavily armed. We're going to move a little more slower," he said. "We're a little more accurate. We're going to carry more ammo."
Stone's attorney, William Swor, declined to comment outside court. The trial, which ended its fourth week, is expected to last a few more weeks.