I-Team: Members of militia group suing law enforcement

April 8, 2013 4:21:37 PM PDT
The I-Team has learned that several members of a Midwestern militia group who were acquitted of plotting to overthrow the government are suing the law enforcement officials who arrested them.

The Hutaree Christian Militia was accused of planning to trigger revolution by first killing law enforcement officers.

A year after being cleared of those charges, several Hutaree members are attacking the government on a different front.

ABC7 News has learned they have filed a federal suit against the very law enforcement officers who originally arrested them, charging a violation of their constitutional rights among other things, to bear arms.

Tom Piatek is among those suing several FBI agents and a Michigan State police trooper.

Piatek claims that federal authorities had no just cause to raid his Whiting, Indiana home three years ago and that they violated his right to own this arsenal of guns, thousands of rounds of ammo and combat accoutrements.

The case, prosecuted out of Detroit, charged that Piatek was part of a violent militia group that had trained to bring down the U.S. government, by starting a class war that was to be ushered in with weapons of mass destruction.

One year ago, a federal judge acquitted Piatek and his co-defendants and most of their possessions, including the weapons, have been returned.

But in this newly filed complaint against law enforcement obtained by the I-Team, Piatek and four other Hutaree associates accuse government agents of

-Unreasonable search and seizure when they raided their homes.

-Interfering with their second amendment right to keep and bear arms.

-They claim that authorities violated due process and accuse law enforcement of false arrest and false imprisonment.

Although the case was just filed in late March, on Piatek's facebook page a cake marks the one year anniversary of what has become a moment of celebration in militia circles.

Attorneys for the acquitted militia members had not responded to us by airtime. Lawyers for the defendants were not available.