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Posted on Mon, Jan 10, 2011 : 6 a.m.

FBI agent signed as witness on Hutaree marriage certificate using false name

By Lee Higgins

An FBI agent who infiltrated the Hutaree militia used a false name when he signed the marriage certificate as a witness for Hutaree leader David Brian Stone and his wife Tina Stone in 2009, Hillsdale County court and FBI records show.

According to an FBI 302 form obtained by, the undercover agent was the best man and signed the document at David Stone's request so "not to cause a questionable scene" at the wedding at the bride's home in Jefferson Township.

Defense attorneys for the couple declined to say whether they intend to raise the issue during cross-examination of the agent, who signed under the alias Stephen M. Clark. The agent is expected to be a key witness in the government's case against the couple and seven other Hutaree members accused of conspiring to overthrow the government.

“Clearly, it looks like there is a perjured signature on the document,” said attorney Mike Rataj, who is representing Tina Stone.


Attorney William Swor, who is representing David Stone, declined to comment on the certificate.

It’s unclear whether the agent’s superiors gave him authorization to sign a false name on the document and whether the FBI plans to notify the Hillsdale County Clerk’s Office about the issue. The certificate is considered a vital record in the state of Michigan, and a copy is kept at the Michigan Vital Records Office in Lansing, the clerk's office said.

The FBI has not made a request to correct the record, Hillsdale County Chief Deputy Clerk Stephenie Kyser said.

FBI Special Agent Sandra Berchtold, a bureau spokeswoman in Detroit, declined to comment, citing the ongoing investigation into Hutaree.

Ann Arbor-based attorney Jackie Garris, who specializes in family law, said the signature would not affect the validity of the marriage.

According to the 302 form, which has not been made public, the agent offered at one point to have one of Stone's sons "witness the license to 'keep it in the family.'"

Stone declined and asked the undercover agent to sign it at the Dec. 12, 2009 wedding, the form says. So, the agent signed it using an alias, the form says.

Given the circumstances, it does not appear the signature would create any issues internally for the agent, legal experts say. Wayne State University Law School professor and former federal prosecutor Peter Henning said it appears the agent complied with the Attorney General’s Guidelines on FBI Undercover Operations.

“Normally, undercovers are not instructed to commit any illegal acts,” Henning said. “I would certainly believe this would fall into the area of permissible conduct an undercover could engage in.”

In total, 17 people attended the wedding, many of whom dressed in military fatigues and posed for photographs holding AR-15s, the form says. Three children and a female undercover agent were among the guests, the form says.

According to the form, which was written up three days after the event, agents videotaped the wedding, and one was wearing a recording device.

Nine Hutaree members are awaiting trial after being arrested last March on charges including seditious conspiracy and attempting to use weapons of mass destruction.

Among the allegations is that members discussed killing a police officer and attacking the funeral procession motorcade with homemade bombs.

Lee Higgins covers crime and courts for He can be reached by phone at (734) 623-2527 and e-mail at


Michigan Reader

Mon, Jan 10, 2011 : 6:18 p.m.

I, for one, think this article has SOME interest appeal.


Mon, Jan 10, 2011 : 2:07 p.m.

@scoobysnacks, "The information did not come from an informant. David Stone had a plan to call in a bogus complaint for a police officer to respond to his home so he could the officer(s), then try to kill more officers during the procession." Again, where is the evidence? Not hearsay from an FBI agent. Please don't be so naive about how things are done. As mike from salines said, there is no evidence so the government is delaying. The Hutaree was set up to make us believe the militia and "terrorist" are dangerous and under everyone's beds. Classic, "rule by fear."


Mon, Jan 10, 2011 : 12:10 p.m.

"They were a dangerous group who had many automatic assult weapons and regularly trained in a military fashion to fine tune their plan." Please cite reports and/or evidence of the alleged automatic "assult" weapons.

Dog Guy

Mon, Jan 10, 2011 : 11:45 a.m.

Is a false signature their only gripe? The entire wedding party wasn't killed with the evidence bulldozed. The FBI was in a good mood that day.

mike from saline

Mon, Jan 10, 2011 : 11:43 a.m.

Lrt's have a trial! What's taking so long? My guess is, the Governments case is weak [and they know it], so they will continue to hold the members in jail until they can get one to agree to testify against the rest.


Mon, Jan 10, 2011 : 11:27 a.m.

Hey Ian, an FBI AGENT infiltrated the organization and a case was built against the members from this undercover operation. The information did not come from an informant. David Stone had a plan to call in a bogus complaint for a police officer to respond to his home so he could the officer(s), then try to kill more officers during the procession. You think this type of plan should have been written off as just some group of gun owners who talk trash? This is not just a few ragtag militia members as you stated. They were a dangerous group who had many automatic assult weapons and regularly trained in a military fashion to fine tune their plan.


Mon, Jan 10, 2011 : 11:21 a.m.

Lee, I think he should have worn a t-shirt with the words "I'm and undercover FBI Agent". Seriously Lee you are the becoming a running joke around town. I don't know if you get assigned these stories or you find the most rediculous stories and put your own rediculous spin on them. Either way, I'd look for a new job because honestly you don't care about journalism. P.S. I hear TMZ needs a guy to hid in celebrity garbage cans looking for "news".


Mon, Jan 10, 2011 : 9:36 a.m.

"Hutaree members accused of conspiring to overthrow the government." Is this a joke? A hand full of ragtag militia? Only allegations by a FBI informant, no evidence. The Hutaree probably wanted to be left alone and just wanted their god given freedoms.


Mon, Jan 10, 2011 : 9:26 a.m.

The timing of this article seem to coincide with what happened in AZ. Coming right after the event which is on the MSM news 24/7. This is an attempt to get the public to believe (consciously or unconsciously) that militias are somehow associated with the shooting in AZ. Good try


Mon, Jan 10, 2011 : 8:38 a.m.

So what is the state of the blessed union? Are they not legally married and in a technical state of sin? Is there a wedding pic to share? Is there a love child? Where was the honey moon? Did they get the trailer fixed up and the trash hauled off? I can't believe how this story left me hangin....


Mon, Jan 10, 2011 : 8:34 a.m.

We went all weekend without any news updates on and this is a headline we get along with others that aren't really news. If we only read this website we'd think nothing is going on. What about the tragedy on AZ, a snowstorm in the south and how it's affecting travel just to name a couple. And I also think there is the possibity that there is some local breaking news other than this sort of thing.


Mon, Jan 10, 2011 : 8:31 a.m.

Well that's just great. It wasn't a valid wedding. How can I get my wedding gifts back?


Mon, Jan 10, 2011 : 8:06 a.m.

If this is the best the defense has they are in BIG trouble!


Mon, Jan 10, 2011 : 7:27 a.m.

Really Lee, this is news? Am I supposed to be outraged at the FBI agent for jeopardizing this beautiful gun totin' union. let's step it up bit ok, you can do it!

average joe

Mon, Jan 10, 2011 : 7:19 a.m.

"...OH, THE HUMANITY....." With exciting news stories such as this, is it any wonder why the A2 news had to cut back to two papers a week. I mean really, does some one really get paid to write about a topic like this, & an editor(?) gives the OK to put it online?


Mon, Jan 10, 2011 : 7:11 a.m.

So, what you're telling us is that an UNDERCOVER agent didn't use his real name when working undercover?!?! Wow, this story has completely changed my view of how that stuff works! I personally thought that they all wore name tags with their real name, address, and the name of their wife and kids! Tomorrows follow-up story: narcotics officer says "no" when asked by drug dealer if he was a cop.


Mon, Jan 10, 2011 : 7:04 a.m.

And this has what to do with the incident in AZ?