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Acquitted Hammond militia member joins suit against feds

This combo eight photos provided by U.S. Marshals Service Monday March 29 2010 shows from top left David Brian Stone

This combo of eight photos provided by the U.S. Marshals Service on Monday March 29, 2010 shows from top left, David Brian Stone Sr., 44, of Clayton, Mich,; David Brian Stone Jr. of Adrian, Mich,; Jacob Ward, 33, of Huron, Ohio; Tina Mae Stone and bottom row from left, Michael David Meeks, 40, of Manchester, Mich,; Kristopher T. Sickles, 27, of Sandusky, Ohio; Joshua John Clough, 28, of Blissfield, Mich.; and Thomas William Piatek, 46, of Whiting, Ind., suspects tied to Hutaree, a Christian militia. Jury selection is getting under way in Detroit federal court Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012, nearly two years after the dramatic arrest of people who authorities say belonged to a southern Michigan militia with a goal of rebelling against the government. The trial is expected to last weeks. It involves seven of the nine people charged with belonging to a group called Hutaree. The government says they conspired to try to kill a police officer and plotted further strikes. No one was ever attacked, and the defendants say they're being prosecuted for saying stupid things.( AP Photo/U.S. Marshall)

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Updated: May 11, 2013 6:23AM



A Hammond man acquitted last year of conspiring with a Michigan militia group to overthrow the federal government is now suing the FBI and Michigan police, claiming they lied to search his house and seize his guns.

Thomas Piatek, his co-defendant Michael Meeks and several of Meeks’ relative filed the lawsuit March 27 in U.S. District Court in Detroit. They claim that FBI Special Agent Stephen Haug lied and gave misleading information that his fellow co-defendants — Michigan State Police Sgt. Sandra Larsen, FBI Special Agent Leslie Larsen and FBI Special Agent Christopher Allen — then used to obtain search warrants for Piatek’s and Meeks’ homes.

The FBI office in Detroit says it does not comment on ongoing litigation. A representative with the Michigan State Police could not be reached for comment.

Piatek was charged and arrested in 2010 with taking part in a conspiracy with the Hutaree, a Michigan militia that espouses negative views of the federal government, to plan to kill a police officer and then use the officer’s funeral as a chance to kill more law enforcement officers. The group was recorded talking about their plans by an undercover FBI agent who had infiltrated the group.

However, the defendants argued that their talk was just that and they did not intend to go forward with any of it. A federal jury in Michigan agreed and acquitted them of the charges in March 2012.

The FBI raided Piatek’s home in the 1900 block of Calumet Avenue in the city’s Robertsdale section in 2010 and took 46 guns and 150 boxes of ammunition and other survival gear from his house. Piatek was ordered held without bond until he was acquitted, and his property was not returned until after he was released.

The suit says that because the information used to obtain a search warrant for Piatek’s home was false and misleading, law enforcement officials had no right to take his property.

“No reasonably trained and experienced police officer or agent would have believed that the search of the homes of plaintiffs Thomas Piatek and Michael Meeks in March 2010 was lawful,” the suit says.

The suit does not say what information was false and misleading, however, and Piatek’s attorney, J. Nicholas Bostic, could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Piatek is asking for at least $25,000 on each of his 10 counts claimed.



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