First Hutaree Member Pleads Guilty To Weapons Charge
Hutaree member, Joshua John Clough, 29, formerly of Blissfield Township, Michigan, pleaded guilty to use of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, United States Attorney Barbara L. McQuade announced. Ms. McQuade was joined in the announcement by Andrew G. Arena, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Mr. Clough is the first person to plead guilty in the case against the Hutaree. Trial is set for the remaining eight co-defendants is scheduled to begin February 7, 2012 before United States District Court Judge Victoria Roberts.
As part of the plea, Mr. Clough acknowledged that he was a member of the Hutaree, an anti-government militia organization which advocated and prepared for violence against local, state, and federal law enforcement. He agreed that the Hutaree's goals included to unlawfully assemble and use explosive bombs (that is, improvised explosive devices and explosively formed penetrators) against local, state, and federal law enforcement officers and their vehicles. Mr. Clough went on to admit that, as part of their preparation in the execution of this conspiracy, the Hutaree conducted military-style training in Lenawee County, Michigan. The training included weapon proficiency drills, patrolling and reconnaissance exercises, and demonstrations of the assembly and use of explosives.
Mr. Clough admitted that on approximately February 20, 2010, he participated in Hutaree training that focused on an upcoming covert reconnaissance exercise scheduled for April 2010. During this training, the defendant used and carried a firearm.
Based upon this guilty plea, Mr. Clough faces a mandatory five years in federal prison.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. FBI Special Agent Leslie Larsen and Michigan State Police Task Force Officer Sandra Larsen were the lead case agents responsible for handling and coordinating the multi-year investigative effort.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sheldon Light and Christopher Graveline.