The changes in David Brian Stone's personal theology destroyed his marriage, his former wife said, and prosecutors claim they later led him to hatch a plot to kill police officers — an act the militia hoped would touch off an uprising against the government.
"The time had come that we needed to arrest them and take them down," U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade said Tuesday in an interview with the Associated Press.
Prosecutors believe that Stone, 44, of Clayton, Mich., is the ringleader of the Hutaree militia, a name the group's Web site says they created to mean "Christian warrior." He was among nine members arrested during a series of raids in three Midwestern states, which federal officials said they carried out after monitoring the group since last summer and learning they planned to launch their attack next month.
McQuade downplayed the role ideology played in the group's alleged plans, saying the "most troubling" finding of their investigation into the Hutaree were the details of their alleged plot. Prosecutors have said the militia planned to make a false 911 call, kill responding police officers and then use a bomb to kill many more at the funeral.
Authorities seized guns in the raids but would not say whether they found explosives.