DETROIT, April 1 (UPI) -- A federal judge in Detroit said he will decide by Friday whether eight defendants accused of plotting to overthrow the U.S. government will be granted bail.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Donald Scheer must determine whether the defendants should be jailed until their trial on charges of seditious conspiracy and attempted use of weapons of mass destruction, The Detroit News reported Thursday.
In an indictment unsealed Monday, the government alleged nine members of the militia group Hutaree planned to kill a police officer and use bombs to attack the scores of officers drawn to the slain officer's funeral in a revolt against the federal government.
Eight defendants were at the hearing in Detroit. The ninth defendant was ordered temporarily detained after a hearing Wednesday in federal court in Indiana, the newspaper said. Officials said he will be transferred to Detroit soon to stand trial with the other defendants.
During a 4-hour hearing in Detroit Wednesday, prosecutors said an undercover federal agent infiltrated the Hutaree organization, helping build the bombs the group planned to use in its action against the government.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Ronald Waterstreet said the nine members of Hutaree -- which the organization's Web site says means "Christian warrior" -- arrested during weekend raids were "a group of like-minded people who chose to oppose by force by using violence and weapons."
One of the defense attorneys, Michael Rataj of Detroit, said the defendants were all talk, nothing more, the Free Press said.
"That's all you have is a lot of talk -- guys who like to dress up in fatigues," Rataj said. "Absolutely nothing illegal about any of it."
The militia had conducted training in Michigan's Lenawee County, about 35 miles northwest of Toledo, since 2008, the indictment said.
Among other things, the organization's Web site says, "The Hutaree will one day see its enemy and meet him on the battlefield if so God wills it."