Former Hutaree member demands personal property be returned, alleges guns were altered

DETROIT - She was acquitted of all charges – so why can't one of the former Hutaree members get her personal property back from the feds?  That's what Tina Stone is asking.

As soon as Tina Stone picked up her weapons that had once been seized by the FBI – she says she knew something wasn't right.

"There's my AR, no mags.  And there's my pistol, no mags," said Stone last summer.

Tina and her husband David Stone Senior were among nine other Hutaree Christian militia members the FBI arrested in March of 2010.  They were accused of conspiring to wage war on the government – but a Judge threw out the case.

FBI records show that hundreds of items were seized from the Stone's home near Adrian, but Stone told 7 Action News in June that dozens of things are missing.

"We've gotten very little stuff back.  They took 3 large truckloads from Tomer Rd.  We have barely enough to fill up an SUV," said Stone at the time.

"Now that we won the case, the case was thrown out, now all of a sudden they're claiming we don't know where the stuff is, we don't have it anymore," said Stone's attorney, Mike Rataj.  He says not only are many items still missing – when Stone got two of her weapons back, Rataj says federal agents had altered the guns.

"They took out a bolt and a bolt carrier in one of her AR-15's and replaced it with a cheaper version," said Rataj.

Stone filed this list of missing items with the court.  It includes more than $700 worth of ammo cans, $2400 worth of gun magazines, gun cleaning kits, and expensive military jackets.

"I was told by a U. S. Attorney that they don't have it anymore, well the $64,000 question is, then where the heck is it? And I intend to find out.  And if they're not going to give it back to us, then I want the monetary value of that stuff," said Rataj.

Rataj says that totals more than $20,000.  He's demanding that the FBI agent who was in charge of the case appear in front of the federal judge to explain why so many items haven't been returned.

So far, the FBI isn't commenting on Rataj's recent court filing.

"This is not over – I want the stuff back," said Rataj.

A spokeswoman for the U. S. Attorney says many items from the Hutaree case were administratively forfeited after the case.  But Rataj says Tina Stone filed all of the paperwork needed to prevent that from happening.

At last check, the assistant U. S. Attorney on the case had asked the judge for more time to respond to Stone's allegations that items have been altered, and a hearing on the matter has been postponed.

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