DETROIT (WXYZ) - When the FBI arrested the leader of the Hutaree militia group two years ago – agents also seized boxes and boxes of David Stone’s personal property.
7 Action News Investigator Heather Catallo was there Friday morning when the Feds returned most of what they took from Stone.
David Stone Sr. is just trying to rebuild his life – but he couldn’t really pick up the pieces because the government still had possession of some pretty important personal items – like the title to his car – and his wedding ring.
Laundry baskets, boxes and bags – filled with the stuff of a life.
Its stuff David Stone Sr. hasn’t seen in two years.
“All of our camouflage, all of our tactical gear, everything they took from our house. So it’s nice to get it back.”
The FBI arrested Stone, his wife, Tina, his two sons, and five other men in March of 2010. The Hutaree Militia members were accused of a conspiracy to wage war on the government, and Stone has been locked up since agents raided his home in Lenawee County.
Last month, a federal judge acquitted the Stones and other Hutaree members of the most serious charges of conspiring to use weapons of mass destruction and seditious conspiracy – saying prosecutors failed to prove there was any evidence of those crimes.
Stone pleaded guilty to a gun charge – and he’s now free on bond. But after two years behind bars, Stone was having a hard time pulling his life back together because the government still had so many of his possessions – including the title to his car and his wedding ring. Today, in the shadow of the FBI’s headquarters in Detroit, Tina Stone slipped that gold band back on her husband’s left hand.
“What was it like getting your wedding ring back,” asked 7 Action News Investigator Heather Catallo.
“Excellent! Finally after 2 years! It’s excellent,” said Stone.
The Stones had only been married three months when the feds locked them up.
“They were allowed to talk to each other in court, but they weren’t allowed to touch each other. She couldn’t hand him pictures of the grandchildren. She couldn’t hand him anything. It was very difficult,” said Stone’s attorney, William Swor.
Swor says now they’re planning to renew their vows – and they want to put two years of being wrongly labeled as violent anti-government zealots behind them.
“The wedding ring was a very, very important thing to him. It was the first thing he asked for,” said Swor.
U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade has said she has no regrets about dismantling the Hutaree militia.
As for David Stone, he’ll never regret standing up for the right of free speech.
“It’s our country, the American people own it, and we got to stand up and say, you know we have our rights, and we’re going to stand on it,” said Stone.
Stone’s home was vandalized so badly while he was locked up so he and Tina also now have to find a new place to live.
As for the guns the feds seized – Stone won’t be getting those back because he did plead guilty to that felony gun charge. He’ll be sentenced on that in August.
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