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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: michigan

Cop bumps into cigarette-buying thief

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan detective can credit legwork, luck and one man's bad habit for his latest arrest.

A Traverse City police detective went to a local gas station Thursday to show clerks a surveillance video image of someone accused of stealing a woman's credit card a week before. The man Detective Kevin Gay was looking for was buying a pack of cigarettes there.

Capt. Brian Heffner, who leads the detective bureau, said a chance encounter like this is rare but welcome.

“The odds are definitely against this happening. … On the exact day and time he's in there, the suspect is buying a pack of cigarettes,” Heffner told the Traverse City Record-Eagle for a story (http://bit.ly/JWEukm) published Saturday.

The man, 51, was arrested and faces charges of unlawful use of a credit card, the newspaper reports.

Police said the suspect had used the credit card at two area stations, including the one where he was nabbed.

Testimony continues in Mich. militia trial

This combo of eight photos provided by the U.S. Marshals Service shows from top left, David Brian Stone Sr., 44, of Clayton, Mich,; David Brian Stone Jr. of Adrian, Mich,; Jacob Ward, 33, of Huron, Ohio; Tina Mae Stone and bottom row from left, Michael David Meeks, 40, of Manchester, Mich,; Kristopher T. Sickles, 27, of Sandusky, Ohio; Joshua John Clough, 28, of Blissfield, Mich.; and Thomas William Piatek, 46, of Whiting, Ind., suspects tied to Hutaree, a Christian militia. (Associated Press)

By ED WHITE,Associated Press
DETROIT (AP) — An FBI informant who was embedded with a southern Michigan militia ended his testimony Thursday after more than a week, answering questions that were intended to portray the group's leader as a man with unusual beliefs but who wasn't a warrior against the government.

Dan Murray said Hutaree leader David Stone was greatly concerned about the arrival of the Antichrist and wanted Christians to be ready to defend themselves.

At one point, Murray said Stone believed the federal government was the Antichrist, but the judge struck the remark because it wasn't directly related to a question asked by defense attorney William Swor.

Stone, his wife, two sons and three other men are charged with conspiring to commit rebellion against the government, first by killing a police officer and then attacking the funeral. They also face weapon charges in the trial, which began Feb. 13 and has weeks to go.

Murray, 57, was paid about $31,000 in cash for months of work for the FBI. He secretly recorded conversations while attending meetings and military-style drills in Lenawee and Washtenaw counties in 2008 and 2009. By the end of 2009, three months before Hutaree members were arrested, he wanted to get out.

“I was getting burned out by the whole thing. … I didn't think there was any more I could get,” Murray testified, adding that he never felt threatened by the Hutaree.

Murray, who works for Ford Motor Co., acknowledged that he once tried to bait Stone during a late-night recorded call by saying, “God, I hate the government.”

Swor asked if Stone replied: “Me, too.”

“I don't believe so,” Murray said.

He said Stone on another occasion talked about Christianity and salvation — not fighting the government — during a meeting with a pastor in southwestern Michigan. They had driven across the state to attend a church service but were late.

Murray said Stone feared that the government was planting chips in people through flu shots. He said Stone in August 2009 urged him to go to Selfridge Air National Guard Base in southeastern Michigan to see if German troops had arrived and raised their flag. Murray declined.

Defense lawyers claim prosecutors have turned senseless conversations between Hutaree members into a plot to overthrow the government. They say the talk was offensive at times, but not illegal. Jurors last week heard Stone saying he would kill police officers and their families, although there was no mention of a specific plan.

Drunk men take dead gator off-roading

 The flattened and preserved reptile is at the center of possible legal action against three Michigan men charged with its theft and subsequent display on a Ford pickup at a nearby mud-bogging party

HOWELL, Mich. (AP) — Authorities say three intoxicated men stole a 14-foot flattened and preserved alligator, strapped it to a pickup truck and took it off-roading.

The Livingston County Daily Press & Argus reports that 55-year-old Douglas Ward of Linden, 60-year-old Roy Griffith of Linden and 53-year-old John Sanborn of Harrison are charged with breaking and entering.

The charges stem from a June 25 theft from a barn in Hartland Township, about 40 miles northwest of Detroit. Sheriff Bob Bezotte says the alligator's owner found tire tracks near his barn and followed them to a party in Deerfield Township where the men were driving their vehicles around in the mud.

The men are due in Livingston County District Court July 20.

The Associated Press sought comment from the men's defense lawyers Thursday morning.

Court: Mayor can keep age private

WARREN, Mich. (AP) — The mayor of Michigan's third-largest city doesn't have to reveal his age.

The state appeals court entered the strange dispute Thursday by overturning a judge's ruling that had required Jim Fouts to disclose his birthdate as he seeks re-election as Warren mayor in August.

The appeals court says it's not required under Michigan law. Fouts says the decision means age cannot be used as a “weapon of mass destruction.” He says his age is irrelevant. Some records show he's 66.

Three rivals have been trying to keep Fouts off the ballot over his failure to include his age on his candidacy form.

‘Batman’ charged w/ trespassing in Mich.

PETOSKEY, Mich. (AP) — Holy trespassing, Batman!

A 31-year-old man dressed as the comic book Caped Crusader was arrested Wednesday in Petoskey after he was seen hanging from the top wall of a downtown business. 

The Petoskey News-Review reports officers went up on the roof about 12:40 a.m. and pulled the 31-year-old man back onto the building.

Public Safety Director John Calabrese says he believes the man “enjoys doing this.”

Officers confiscated a baton-like weapon, a can of chemical irritant spray and lead-lined gloves.

The Harbor Springs man, pictured after his arrest, is awaiting arraignment on charges of trespassing and possession of a dangerous weapon.

He's being held in the Emmet County jail.

Petoskey is in Michigan's northern Lower Peninsula, about 225 miles northwest of Detroit. ;

Man reports snake theft 14 months later

IRONWOOD, Mich. (AP) — Police in Michigan's remote western Upper Peninsula probably won't make a recent snake theft complaint a high priority.

That's because the man reporting is pet stolen says it happened in November 2009.

The Daily Globe says the Ironwood man filed the complaint Monday. He says he thinks he knows who stole his snow corn snake from a home in Ironwood.

Police say they asked him why he waited 14 months to come forward, and he said he was doing “some bad stuff” with friends at the time his snake disappeared.

Officers say they interviewed the woman fingered as the thief, and she denied stealing it.

Her theory? The man just misplaced it.

The man says he bought the constrictor on the Internet for $80.

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