Remember the Hutaree Militia? A group of nine members from three states, Michigan, Ohio and Indiana, were arrested by Federal agents back on March 27th? Well, three were released yesterday and a fourth today. The remaining five are expected to be released from custody shortly. The nine members were arrested on Federal charges of sedition and planning bombing attacks, targeting police officers to be killed. Over the course of the past several weeks, however, it seems that the Feds may have went a tad overboard in their allegations and reaction.

When taken into custody, the Hutaree Militia members were arraigned quickly and under requests by Federal prosecutors, the original judge, U.S. Magistrate Donald Scheer, denied bail and be held until trial. Department of Justice attorneys claimed that the militia members were a threat to public safety and a potential flight risk. The group’s defense lawyers filed an appeal and a series of hearing began in late April.

Judge Victoria A. Roberts of the U.S. 6th District Court of Appeals, presided over the appeals case. After several hearings and conferences, Judge Roberts began to become quite frustrated with Federal prosecutors. One such hearing took place on April 27th where U.S. attorneys and FBI agents who were called to testify tried to wiggle out by claiming they didn’t think there would be a hearing that day. One FBI agent who is in charge of the case, Leslie Larsen, told the judge that she only learned of the hearing that morning and did not bring any notes or other materials with her.

A key piece of evidence against the Hutaree Militia was a secret recording of a conversation between militia members. During which they discussed a possible coming war in the United States against the government. Another topic of conversation was speculation on how police officers might be killed by roadside bombs and how other bombs might be used at funerals for police to cause more casualties.

The defending attorneys for the Hutaree Militia members argue that these conversation were purely speculative, even describing the talks as “fantasy and empty, inane bluster.” At other points in the conversation, there were moments of light-hearted topics and even laughter. Judge Roberts has apparently agreed with defense council. On May 6th, she ordered that all nine militia members be released on bond. Judge Roberts also expressed doubts about the government’s sedition case. Federal prosecutors filed additional motions, delaying the release. Those freed yesterday and today were required to be fitted with electronic ankle bracelets. The remaining five members may be set free as early as tomorrow.