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Posted on Mon, Apr 12, 2010 : 4 a.m.

Bomb manuals, suspected steroids seized during Hutaree raids, search warrant records show

By Lee Higgins

Bomb manuals, suspected steroids and a copy of Adolf Hitler’s “My New Order” were among the items seized during the recent FBI raids targeting Hutaree, federal search warrant records show.

Federal law enforcement agents have executed at least 13 search warrants since their investigation began in December 2008 into the Christian militia unit, whose members are accused of plotting to kill cops.

During a search of Hutaree's headquarters in Lenawee County, agents seized items that can be used to build explosives, including cardboard tubes with cannon fuse and a container of potassium chlorate, records show.

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Agents conduct raids at the homes of suspected Hutaree members. Associated Press file photo

The items are listed in about 100 pages of search warrant documents reviewed by The records were filed last week in federal court in Detroit.

Nine Hutaree members are in federal custody after being indicted on charges that accuse them of conspiring to levy war against the United States. Among other allegations, authorities say Hutaree members planned to kill a law enforcement officer, then attack the funeral procession motorcade with homemade bombs.

The investigation into the group began Dec. 8, 2008 when ATF agents say they conducted a routine records check on federal firearms licensee Walter Priest. Priest is the owner of Gun Outfitters, LLC, which he operates out of his Adrian home. 

Priest, who agents say is under investigation by the ATF, has sold components of AR-15s to Hutaree leader David Brian Stone, who Priest said was an occasional customer.

At the time of the records check, Hutaree members were upset, saying the ATF was looking for records on Stone. Investigators said Stone sent out an e-mail encouraging militia members to fight the ATF.

On Feb. 5, 2009, federal agents executed a search warrant at Priest’s home on Forrister Road, looking for materials used to make explosives, ingredients used to manufacture meth and other items. They seized guns, a laptop computer, a binder of diagrams, a model rocket engine, tools and other items.

Priest's son, 25-year-old Walter Jason Priest, has a previous explosives conviction and was sentenced to federal prison last month for possessing a firearm while being a convicted felon. Adrian police searched his Company Street apartment after they responded to an assault call Jan. 22, 2009 and saw him carrying a shotgun. Police seized items including a computer and camera, which were later analyzed by federal agents, who obtained search warrants.

Federal prosecutors have said an offer was made by Hutaree members to break Walter Jason Priest out of jail. His father, Walter Priest, told he is not aware of that offer.

On March 27, FBI agents, who had an undercover agent who penetrated Hutaree,
executed eight other search warrants in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana. On the same night, they raided a memorial service in the Ann Arbor area, arresting a number of Hutaree members. It all occurred in less than a five-hour span.

Here’s a list of the search warrants executed that night and some items found:

6:30 p.m., Calumet Avenue, Whiting, Indiana, home of Hutaree member Thomas Piatek

Agents seized military uniforms, a ballistic helmet, samurai sword, crossbow, parachute flares and other items. Investigators also seized audio of “The Turner Diaries,” which is a novel that militia watchdog groups say provided inspiration to Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh. In addition, agents seized a CD, “Explosives, Ordnance & Demolitions,” and the book “My New Order” by Adolf Hitler, records show. Investigators also recovered 46 firearms and more than 13,000 rounds of ammunition, documents show.

7:10 p.m., Bruce Highway, Blissfield, Michigan, home of Hutaree member Joshua Clough

At Clough’s home, investigators seized guns and ammunition, computers, the book “Underground Bases & Tunnels,” a “Citizen Homeland Defense Paper,” a camera, trench coat with shoulder patches, portfolio with business cards and other items, records show.

7:30 p.m., Tomer Road, Clayton, Michigan, Hutaree headquarters, home of Hutaree leader David Brian Stone

Agents seized items that can be used to make explosives and instructions on how to build them. Two cardboard tubes with green/cannon fuse, a two-page document about a funnel shape charge, hand grenade instructions, schematics, a container of potassium chlorate, a grenade holder, bomb manuals and other items were seized. Investigators also recovered a notebook with the doctrine of the Hutaree and rank, records show. In addition, agents seized gas masks, 3 DVDs labeled Waco, a Hutaree flag, knives, machetes, swords, body armor, load-bearing vests, communications equipment, computers and a 2005 daily planner book. Guns, ammunition and an ammo can with pieces of metal and shrapnel also were seized.

7:30 p.m., East Cedarwood Drive, Sandusky, Ohio, home of Hutaree member Kristopher Sickles

Investigators seized suspected crack cocaine, glass vials with syringes (suspected steroids), a ghillie suit (a sniper suit also used by hunters), sterno fuel, guns with flares, night vision equipment, OC spray, camcorders, a lock pick set, a scanner, guns, ammunition and other items.

7:30 p.m., Wilbor Avenue, Huron, Ohio, the home of Hutaree member Jacob Ward

Agents searched Ward’s home, seizing VHS tapes, disposable cameras, an address book, court papers, walkie-talkies, a Huron police report, “Supreme Court Decision Paperwork,” photos from the wall, roller blade pads, ammunition and other items, records show.

8:10 p.m., South Main Street, Adrian, Michigan, home of Hutaree member David Stone Jr.’s fiancée

Some of the writing in the search warrant log is too faint to read. Items seized include a computer, Bible, Hutaree jacket and ammunition.

10:56 p.m., Bemis Road, Manchester, Michigan, home of Hutaree member Michael Meeks’ parents

Agents seized guns, ammunition, digital cameras, GPS units, a cell phone, computer and other items, records show.

11 p.m., Brooks Highway, Onsted, Michigan

A home was searched but nothing was seized. It's unclear who owns the home.

Since the March 27 raids, agents have executed at least two other search warrants.

On March 29, at about 6:30 p.m., agents executed a search warrant on a truck registered to Hutaree member Thomas Piatek, who was already in custody. Investigators seized a militia field guide, spent rounds, a handgun license and other items, records show.

Agents also executed a search warrant authorized March 30 on Hutaree member Michael Meeks' home on Timber Lane in Norvell, Michigan, records show. Investigators seized liquid tear gas, an alarm disarming book, night vision binoculars, guns, ammunition, knives, MREs, a flare gun and other items.

Mike Lackomar, a spokesman for the Southeast Michigan Volunteer Militia, said it's typical for militia members to have a lot of guns and ammunition.

Lackomar has six handguns, four rifles and 2,500 rounds of ammunition at his home, he said. In one weekend of training, he said he can go through hundreds of rounds of ammunition.

“If you order ammo by the thousands, you get a good discount on it,” Lackomar said.

But he questioned why there would be hand grenade instructions, a grenade holder and documents related to explosives at Hutaree headquarters.

“That’s kind of shady to me," he said.


This combo of eight photos provided by the U.S. Marshals Service shows from top left, David Brian Stone Sr., 44, of Clayton, Mich,; David Brian Stone Jr. of Adrian, Mich,; Jacob Ward, 33, of Huron, Ohio; Tina Mae Stone and bottom row from left, Michael David Meeks, 40, of Manchester, Mich,; Kristopher T. Sickles, 27, of Sandusky, Ohio; Joshua John Clough, 28, of Blissfield, Mich.; and Thomas William Piatek, 46, of Whiting, Ind.

Lee Higgins is a reporter for He can be reached by phone at (734) 623-2527 or email at



Mon, Apr 12, 2010 : 8:16 p.m.

@Ian "First of all, no one has heard this conversation. Second, even if they did say this, they are protected under the First Amendment rights. I bet millions of people, in anger, have said, "I want to kill" a certain person at least once in their lives. Should we jail millions of people for this? I don't think so." Obviously someone heard this conversation most importantly the federal judge who issued the search warrant. Also they have been read on the record in court so alot of people have heard these comments. You say that everybody is protected under the first amendment. The first amendment does not allow you to say whatever you want without going unpunished for it. If someone yells fire in a large crowd they can be charged with inciting a riot. Sure alot of people have said I want to kill people, but how many of them were part of a group that was being investigated by an undercover FBI operation? What would your position/comments have been if this group would have gone through with their threats? Say after 25-50 police officers were killed during this bombing and it came out after the fact that the FBI had the information that it was being planned. You have to look at the totality of circumstances and not just look at each part individually. Is it illegal to make threats to kill people with a bomb while talking to your friends, no. Is it illegal to look up how to make bombs on the internet or buy how to books, no. Is it illegal to possess most of the items necessary to make bombs in your home, no. Combine all these and include the fact that you are part of a militia group that has been infiltrated by an undercover FBI agent and then the answer is yes.


Mon, Apr 12, 2010 : 3:52 p.m.

"Adolf Hitlers My New Order" I don't really kow why this is in the story...well it's in the story becasue it was siezed by the FBI but I think that's a little much. This seems to be a collection of Hitler's speeches which to me is just someone having a book...big deal. It's flashy cause it enteres in a notoriously evil character into this plot, but I'm sure plenty of people have books like this. I think if you had a history buff they would surely own Mein 'Kampf,' and I wouldn't call that illegal. Well sorry I just read the whole article and they're just taking everything they can and making it look evil. I own the Turner Diaries (good read) myself and I'm certainly not going to blow anyone up. A samurai sword...crossbow...walkie talkies...etc. Whatever.


Mon, Apr 12, 2010 : 3:46 p.m.

@ it possible that i dont know everything about the topics at hand??? sure... alot is possible...but not so probable, if one gets information from sources more reliable than fellow 'true believers' caught up in internet- fueled fantasies. (e.g. id trust a trained reporter in the much maligned " mainstream media",who went to a reputable journalism school and absorbed some methods and ethics of accurate reporting far more than a self-proclaimed "independent journalist ", who can post/blog free of oversight, anytime. i also, by both profession and committment, have similar views on traditional academically supported and peer reviewed scholarship, as opposed to so-called "independent scholars" who, i have observed,locally especially, are often the equivalent of bitter, unemployed academic wannabes. my own snark here is simply a pleasant way of relaxing, since im retired from the good stuff above and dont have to worry anymore about always keeping up the rigorous standards i admire per the above..


Mon, Apr 12, 2010 : 3:16 p.m.

@bedrogim "always amused when would- be "martyrs" and their defenders get all out of shape when others dont buy into their sanctimony." Maybe it is because you are not aware of the truth. Thus, mock those that want to elighten you by calling them conspiracy theorists. Is it just POSSIBLE you do not know everything about events like Oklahoma city bombing, Waco, etc?


Mon, Apr 12, 2010 : 2:14 p.m.

thanks ed...the problem with the internet age is its transient, ephemeral nature...all the more reason to download and print out some of the stuff that appears in these and other site threads, notably from particular individuals of whom i know you are well aware.... a future UM archive of their stuff would trump those you cite hands down. ( actually one of my advisees is doing a thesis on such stuff locally so a hard copy will presumably be in an archive before too long.)


Mon, Apr 12, 2010 : 1:44 p.m.

@ ian.."ann arbor is the bastion of free thinking as long as you stay within acceptable limits" well, are free to go beyond those limits...short of advocating/practicing violence...but if you do others are similarly free to (harshly, sarcastically, mockingly )express their disapproval. im always amused when would- be "martyrs" and their defenders get all out of shape when others dont buy into their sanctimony ( can you imagine joan of arc or jesus getting all huffy/pouty on the burning stake/cross?) presumably just moaned a bit ( or said "ouch" jesus' case maybe he said "ME, MARY AND JOSEPH" ).. and then expired with some class.


Mon, Apr 12, 2010 : 1:27 p.m.

I believe they should be prosecuted, but the way the FBI and the media is making them out to be terrorist masterminds is preposterous and laughable. These goofballs are loudmouth trailer trash and about as sophisticated as a class of second-graders. They are the poster children for incompetence.


Mon, Apr 12, 2010 : 12:10 p.m.

People can get as crazy as they want in their own home... I think these people wanted to hurt others and I am glad someone stepped in.


Mon, Apr 12, 2010 : 12:02 p.m.

I think the very fact that other Militias groups notified the state police speaks volumes about this group. While not a huge advocate for the use of the death penalty I do think this folks had a psychotic break from reality and need medication and counseling.


Mon, Apr 12, 2010 : 11:34 a.m.

Bedrog, no offense meant of taken, thanks. I just hear so often about how liberal (not nec in the political sense) Ann Arbor is that I find it amusing to hear the contrary. History shows that "wild" amd "radical" is in the eye of the beholder, yes? Christ, Da Vinci, Copernicus, Galileo, Descartes were similarly viewed in their time. While some may be vehement and be on a specific side, they may not be wrong. I simply submit, we don't know yet and history past and recent should be well recognized for it.


Mon, Apr 12, 2010 : 11:27 a.m.

Ann Arbor is the bastion of free thinking people. As long as you stay within acceptable parameters.


Mon, Apr 12, 2010 : 11:25 a.m.

rice...i actually wasnt referring to you but to others on this thread who are far more extreme /acrobatic in their apologetics ( 'acrobatic' in bending so far over backward to defend huttaree-ites and defame the 'government' that they are looking at...well fill that in for yourself) and "free" ( as in "free thinking") often leads to the analogous concept of "wild"...and often rabidly so.


Mon, Apr 12, 2010 : 11:17 a.m.

I don't consider myself to be in any of those groups, but funny I thought Ann Arbor was supposedly a bastion of free thinking peoples...


Mon, Apr 12, 2010 : 11:12 a.m.

a number of the commenters seem to be fellow travelers with the group in their knee-jerk "the government is always wrong/ poor widdle wacko extremists are always innocent victims" posts. shades of our local synagogue harassers,and 9/11 conspiracy theorists..( and for that matter "obama is a muslim" and "there's no global climate change" types) is there something in the local water??


Mon, Apr 12, 2010 : 10:52 a.m.

Federal prisons are full of folks who didn't actually kill anyone or over throw the government... they just planned it. A farmer from Michigan's Thumb helped plan such an act according to his conviction. If McVeigh hadn't actually been successful in blowing up hundreds of Americans would it have been okay to let Terry Nichols go? If the horrific bombing including murdering little children in their cribs, had been stopped by some FBI infiltration, would people say they weren't really going to do it and the FBI is making a mountain out of a molehill? When people gather and speak of murdering others, then law enforcement, or for that matter any private citizen, had better act on it and report it. Next time it could be their child or other family member blown away. My how soon we forget.


Mon, Apr 12, 2010 : 9:57 a.m.

@stuckey, Those are only allegations. No evidence they were going to go through with any criminal acts. Are we now arresting people for future or thought crimes, as in the movie, "Minority Report?"


Mon, Apr 12, 2010 : 9:34 a.m.

Why does the press continue to refer to this group as a Christian militia unit? So far, I haven't heard or read anything Christ-like about these people. Plotting violence and murder is not a Christian value. Perhaps you can call them a self-proclaimed Christian MU or an extremist, religious MU. It appears that the FBI is doing their job properly. I'll put my trust in the hands of our nations watchdogs rather than in the hands of "Non-regulated militia". Searching for and arresting groups that make plans to murder law enforcement members is NOT making a mountain out of a mole hill. @Ian, Huron74 & Angela... sedition is a crime.


Mon, Apr 12, 2010 : 9:28 a.m.

"sounds like the FBI got exactly what they thought they would find." Therein lies the problem, most anyone can usually find what they expect to find. Is that a perceptual bias or....? Google "FBI informant scandal" for chillingly similar "investigations". They all started the same as this one so far. Particularly the NYC Synagogue Plot. All the media accounts sound suspiciously similar, no? How many "persons of interest" debacles have their been also? The fact that the ongoing "poisoning of the public opinion well" contains such lame items being hyped does not bode well. Usually in instances where those being charged with serious crimes are convicted, I find that the authorities hold their information VERY close to vest until the court proceedings. Those that eventually are not, well your get much hype and charges in the court of public opinion. I think you would all do well to remember you too would like to be innocent until proven guilty and wait on the facts to come out. Again I don't know these people but from what has been handed out so far....I reserve my opinion.


Mon, Apr 12, 2010 : 9:24 a.m.

@1973Saline "So, let me get this straight the FBI has an undercover officer that has taped conversations about this group planning to blow up a police funeral procession." First of all, no one has heard this conversation. Second, even if they did say this, they are protected under the First Amendment rights. I bet millions of people, in anger, have said, "I want to kill" a certain person at least once in their lives. Should we jail millions of people for this? I don't think so. Also, many items can be declared "bomb making materials." I cannot believe any intelligent person would fall for this excuse to arrest people. Even though these bomb making material are legal to own. For example, gun powder. Hunters and target shooters make their own bullets/shell to save money. For this reason, they purchase gun power. I guess you can claim this is "bomb making material" if you want to frame someone and fool the public into believing they are criminals.


Mon, Apr 12, 2010 : 8:38 a.m.

Let's see, crack, steroids, bombs and guns...always a good combination for a Sunday picnic! Add to that fine reading material from Hitler and the militia wet dream Turner Diaries and it sounds like a Peace In! However, I am concerned about the Government stating that some of this stuff constitutes Weapons of Mass Destruction. Is that the new scary catch phrase that's replacing "Communist"?


Mon, Apr 12, 2010 : 8:37 a.m.

Fortunately for them, no copy of Paul Reiser's "Couplehood" was found. I'm pretty sure that would mean an automatic life sentence.


Mon, Apr 12, 2010 : 7:26 a.m.

So, let me get this straight the FBI has an undercover officer that has taped conversations about this group planning to blow up a police funeral procession. They get search warrant for this groups headquarters and homes. The FBI finds bomb making material and how to books for making explosives. Now people on here are questioning what was illegal about what the FBI found? These people threatened to blow up police and were found in possession of bomb making material, sounds like the FBI got exactly what they thought they would find.

Steve Pepple

Mon, Apr 12, 2010 : 7:21 a.m.

A comment was removed because it contained speculation based on rumors.


Mon, Apr 12, 2010 : 7:18 a.m.

"Just folks". Hitler literature, Waco, crack cocaine, instructions on how to make bombs, potassium chlorate (surely for cleaning!)and grenade holders. Combined with a web site that was virulently anti-government. Yep, nothing to see here except normal activities of right wing extremists. Now, if they had found a picture of Walter Annenberg...THEN they would be guilty of "palling around with terrorists!"


Mon, Apr 12, 2010 : 7:06 a.m.

@SPM: Actually, I have the same skepticism when a Muslim is accused of terrorism. Not everyone is racist as you implied. Don't you find it interesting that when this agent "infiltrated" them was about the same time their website was set up? If they had books on how to make bombs and were apparently already working on them, why would they need someone to do the dirty work for them? I agree, talk can turn into action, but from what I have read and heard from people who actually knew these people, the accusations are ludicrous. There needs to be more actual evidence before coming to the conclusion of guilty. Hopefully, the agent has more proof.


Mon, Apr 12, 2010 : 6:31 a.m.

Isn't everyone forgetting that they had an agent working within the Hutaree and he said they had him making bombs? Why the second guessing? If this were a bunch of Muslims being arrested I doubt people would be second guessing the arrests. Crazy anti-government white American men have bombed a federal building and flown a plane into the IRS building, so there was a good reason why these people should have been watched - talk can turn into action - then it's too late.


Mon, Apr 12, 2010 : 6:11 a.m.

This whole situation is ridiculous. Nothing here seems to be illegal to own, except the steroids. If they raided my home, they could use books that I have to make me out as some crazy person too. (Chemistry- she could be using these to make bombs; Survival Guides- why would she need to know how to survive on her own? What is she planning?; Books by JD Salinger, Neitzsche, Ayn Rand, Dawkins, and lots of history books which happen to include Stalin and Hitler; books about conspiracy theories, aliens, ancient History- Oh no, she is some atheist commie wanting to kill John Lennon and take down the government!) Everyone needs to take a second look at their personal libraries. The transcript shows nothing but frustration. I cannot imagine these people wanting to go out and kill innocent bystanders. Their anger seems to stem from our government. Were they a bit paranoid? Perhaps, but one mans paranoia is another's preparedness. If they were as dangerous as they are being portrayed, wouldn't there have been a crazy fight when they were raided? Call me crazy and drunk on conspiracy theories, but I think there is more to this story than what we can see. If indeed they are guilty of plotting to kill police officers, I will be the first to say to "throw the book at them". There is no excuse for that behavior and that sort of trash gets what they deserve. On a side note, it is very easy to buy bomb making books. You can pick them up at most bookstores and gun shows. It always disturbs me to see that those sort of books are able to be distributed the way that they are. Do we not have enough to worry about without some crazy individual having the wherewithal to bomb their neighbors just because?


Mon, Apr 12, 2010 : 5:59 a.m.

I agree with the previous comment. "Bomb making materials". WTH? I could go out in my garage right now and round up enough items to make a rudimentary bomb I think. And so could most people. This BS from the authorities is just ludicrous. How are these people supposed to get a fair trial with all these prejudicial and selective releases of info from the government? Books? Cameras? Computers? Those items aren't illegal either under any circumstances unless they're stolen property.


Mon, Apr 12, 2010 : 3:45 a.m.

Other than making it sound bad, did the government find anything illegal (serious emough to treat this group as some type of terrorists)? Did these nine people actually break any laws? Or, are they making a mountain out of a mole hill.