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Midwest Militia Raids: Agents Seize Gas Masks, Guns, Knives, More

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DETROIT — Federal agents investigating what they describe as a Christian militia bent on violence against police seized suspected crack cocaine and steroids, weapons, gas masks and a book of Adolf Hitler's speeches during raids of members' homes last month, according to search warrant records.

The raids were conducted over a 4 1/2-hour span in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana on the night of March 27.

Authorities recovered hand grenade instructions and schematics, a container of potassium chlorate and other items during a raid that night at the southern Michigan home of David Stone, the suspected leader of the Hutaree.

Federal prosecutors say Stone and eight other members of the militia plotted the mass killings of police officers in the hope of sparking an anti-government revolution. They are charged with seditious conspiracy, or plotting to levy war against the U.S., and attempting to use weapons of mass destruction.

The Associated Press on Monday reviewed dozens of pages of search warrant records that were filed last week in federal court.

They items seized include:

_ Several cardboard tubes including two "with green/cannon fuse;" a 6-by- 3/4-inch-gallon nipple with end caps; a two-page document about a "funnel shape charge;" a 2005 daily planner book; a grenade holder; a Hutaree flag; three DVDs labeled "Waco"; a notebook detailing the doctrine and ranks of the Hutaree; and gas masks; at Stone's trailer home in Lenawee County's Dover Township.

_ Substances believed to be crack cocaine and steroids and a lock pick set at the mobile home of suspected Hutaree member Kristopher Sickles in Sandusky, Ohio.

_ A copy of "My New Order" by Hitler; audio of "The Turner Diaries," a novel that is popular with white supremacists; a samurai sword; a jeweled dagger; a ballistic helmet; an intrusion detection machine; and a CD titled "Explosives, Ordnance and Demolition;" at the two-story home of suspected Hutaree member Thomas Piatek in Whiting, Ind.

The search warrant records did not explain why some of the items had been seized. At a March 31 detention hearing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Ronald Waterstreet said Stone had 20 cardboard tubes that could be used to make improvised explosive devices.

Defense lawyer William Swor, who represents Stone, called that assertion "nonsense."

Swor said he hadn't seen the list of items taken from his client's home but "without even looking at it, I'm certain that the government's going to say that this proves their case."

"It's the government's burden to prove what they think this stuff is," Swor said Monday. "Let them prove it."

When read a partial list of what was found at Stone's home, Swor said: "It sounds like a big 'So what?'"

Messages seeking comment were left Monday with lawyers for Sickles and Piatek.

The Hutaree, self-proclaimed "Christian warriors," were training themselves in paramilitary techniques in preparation for a battle against the Antichrist, according to information posted on their Web site.

Prosecutors say the group planned to make a phony 911 call, kill responding police officers, then set off a bomb at the ensuing funeral to kill many more.

A federal agent infiltrated the group and provided valuable information to authorities, they have said.

The records say Stone wasn't home at the time of the raid, so agents left the search warrant on the kitchen table.

In all, agents seized dozens of guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition, as well as other weapons, including swords and machetes. Other items ranging from laptops and external hard drives to DVDs and even Mapquest directions to an address in Washington state were carted away.

A judge will hold a hearing April 27 to determine whether to keep the nine in custody while they await trial.

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Associated Press Writer Jeff Karoub contributed to this report.

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