A federal judge acquitted five Hutaree militia members in a plot to overthrow the government that included killing a police officer and bombing his funeral.
The ruling is a blow to the Department of Justice, which planted a paid informant and undercover FBI agent in the group four years ago. Federal agents raided the rural southern Michigan compound of the Hutaree in March 2010 and arrested nine members.
Prosecutors failed to prove the group had a specific plan to attack an officer, even though Hutaree leader David Stone "may have wanted to engage in a war with the federal government," according to a 28-page ruling from U.S. District Judge Victoria Roberts.
The members were also acquitted of seditious conspiracy, reports the Los Angeles Times.
Nine Members of Michigan-Based Militia Charged with Planning Police Murders