Mich. militia head, son plead guilty to gun charge

Published:

DETROIT (AP) -- A Michigan militia leader and his son each pleaded guilty Thursday to illegally possessing a machine gun, ending a six-week trial that took a dramatic turn this week when a judge dismissed more serious charges of conspiring to rebel against the government.

Gun charges were the only counts left against David Stone and Joshua Stone after U.S. District Judge Victoria Roberts said prosecutors had failed to present evidence of a specific plan to go to war against law enforcement and federal authorities. She acquitted them and five other members of the Hutaree militia.

David Stone and Joshua Stone of Lenawee County, Mich., each admitted they possessed a machine gun. They have been locked up without bond for two years and could face additional prison time after their guilty pleas.

Prosecutors asked that David Stone stay in custody until sentencing, but Roberts released the father and son. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sheldon Light said the elder Stone still was a threat to the public.