DETROIT – Members of the Hutaree Michigan militia group are suing employees of the FBI and Michigan State Police on grounds their constitutional rights were violated during an investigation into their organization in 2010.
According to a copy of the lawsuit obtained by Local 4, members Michael Meeks and Thomas Piatek, Meek's parents -- Eugune and Sylvia Meeks -- and his sister -- Gabrielle Neely -- are listed as plaintiffs.
The lawsuit says the agents "recklessly disregarded the rights" of Eugune and Sylvia Meeks and Nelly when they searched their Bridgewater Township home looking for Michael Meeks. The lawsuit says their door was damaged, personal property was taken and they suffered emotional distress and anxiety. The lawsuit also says Sylvia Meeks was forced to lie on the floor during a raid while their daughter, who was a minor at the time, was handcuffed.
They are accusing three FBI agents and MSP officer of false imprisonment, false arrest, malicious prosecution and trespassing.
The plaintiffs want $25,000 for each of 16 counts brought against the defendants.
The lawsuit was filed March 27 in U.S. District Court in Detroit.
During a series of raids in March 2010, authorities arrested nine members of the southern Michigan group. The government claims they were scheming to kill a police officer then attack officers who attended the funeral in the first steps toward a broader rebellion. Meeks and Piatek were two of seven who were charged and taken to trial. But a judge dismissed the case in May 2012.
Much of the government's evidence made public so far shows militia members talking about killing police officers and attacking officers who turn up for the funeral. No specific plot with specific targets has been disclosed. The judge did acknowledge the group had "stockpiles" of legal weapons and ammunition.
The FBI said it broke up the plot with the help of an undercover agent and informants.
Who are the Hutaree:
The Hutaree are self-proclaimed "Christian warriors" who trained themselves in paramilitary techniques in preparation for what they say on their website is a battle against the Antichrist.
On it's website, the group says it will be "prepared to defend all those who belong to Christ and save those who aren't."