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Hutaree Leader's Best Man Was Undercover FBI Agent

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Newscom

Back in March, TPM brought you photos from the wedding of David Stone, the leader of a Hutaree militia, to Tina Stone.

Turns out that the FBI agent at that wedding signed the marriage license, which you can view here, under the alias Stephen M. Clark.

An FBI form obtained by AnnArbor.com says the FBI agent suggested that one of Stone's sons "witness the license to 'keep it in the family.'"

But Stone declined and asked the undercover agent serving as his best man to sign it at the Dec. 12, 2009 wedding, according to the FBI form.

A former federal prosecutor and professor at Wayne State University Law School Peter Henning told AnnArbor.com that the agent appears to have complied with the Attorney General's Guidelines on FBI Undercover Operations.

hutaree.jpg

"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."

The news website reported that 17 people attended the wedding, and that three children and a female undercover agent were among the guests, according to the FBI form. It was not clear if the FBI agent is pictured in any of the photos posted on Tina Stone's Facebook account.

A judge also ruled last week that the nine members of the Hutaree militia were not simply exercising their first amendment rights of free speech. U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul Komives denied the defendants' motion to dismiss the charge of seditious conspiracy.

Lawyers for the defense claimed that the Hutaree members were not actually planning a rebellion, but rather were just talking about it. Relying on an earlier first amendment case, Brandenburg V. Ohio, the defense argued that the indictment "fails to allege that the defendants' conspiracy incited or was likely to produce imminent lawless action."

The nine members of the Hutaree were indicted in March on multiple charges involving an alleged plot to attack police. The charges included seditious conspiracy, attempted use of weapons of mass destruction, teaching the use of explosive materials, and possessing a firearm during a crime of violence. The indictment described an elaborate plot in which the members planned to kill a member of local law encouragement and then -- during the funeral -- attack the mourning officers who congregated with weapons with improvised explosive devices.

Additional reporting by Melissa Jeltsen.

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