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Who is David Brian Stone, leader of the Hutaree militia?

A picture of Hutaree militia leader David Brian Stone is slowly emerging. His interest in guns and religion gradually spiraled out of control, reports suggest, leading to his arrest on charges of conspiring to kill police officers and oppose the US government by force.

By Will BuchananContributor / March 29, 2010

Donna Stone, David Brian Stone's ex-wife, talks to members of the media outside the Federal Courthouse in Detroit Monday. Her son, who was legally adopted by David Stone, was among several members of the Hutaree militia charged with conspiring to kill police officers.

Jerry S. Mendoza/AP


Members called him "Captain Hutaree" or, somewhat cryptically, "RD." A federal indictment calls him the “principal leader” of the Hutaree militia – an extremist group federal authorities say was preparing to "levy war" against the US government by killing police officers.

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He is David Brian Stone, and early media accounts sketch a portrait of a man pulled increasing toward the militia movement and its radical fringe. His ex-wife said she left him because he "got carried away." Federal authorities allege that he researched how to build roadside bombs on the Internet. And at least one neighbor said the group that Mr. Stone leads had acquired a certain notoriety around town.

"You don't mess with them," she told the Detroit News.

Hutaree militia arrests: Why the number of militias has tripled since 2008

Monday morning, federal authorities released an indictment against Stone and eight other members of the Hutaree militia. They allege that Stone and his followers were planning an attack sometime in April, perhaps killing an police officer then targeting the funeral with improvised explosive devices (IEDs) to raise the death toll. The group saw the police as the arm of a US government, which they felt was the enemy. [Editor's note: IEDs were described incorrectly in the original version of this paragraph.]

'Handguns to big guns'

It had not started out like this, said Donna Stone, David's ex-wife.

“It started out as a Christian thing," Donna Stone told reporters at the preliminary court hearing Monday morning. "You go to church. You pray. You take care of your family. I think David started to take it a little too far. He dragged a lot of people with him. When he got carried away, when he went from handguns to big guns, I was done."

“He dragged a lot of innocent people down with him," said Donna Stone, whose son was legally adopted by David Stone and was among those indicted. “It started to get worse when they were talking about the world's gonna end in the Bible.”

According to the indictment, David Stone researched IEDs on the internet and e-mailed diagrams of the devices to someone he believed capable of manufacturing the devices. He then directed his son, Joshua, and others to gather materials necessary for the manufacturing of the bombs.