Ripples likely from militia case loss, experts say

ED WHITE Associated Press Published:

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."

Want to leave your comments?

Sign in or Register to comment.