Feds Return Militiaman's 41 Guns
Acquitted Hutaree member gets guns, ammo back
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 9, 2012 3:34 AM CDT
Thomas William Piatek, 46, of Whiting, Ind. was acquitted on charges including conspiracy to overthrow the government.   (AP Photo/U.S. Marshall, File)

(Newser) – A member of a Christian militia in the Midwest has received his 41 guns and more than 100,000 round of ammunition back from the federal government more than 2 years after they were seized. Thomas Piatek was one of seven Hutaree members acquitted on charges that they planned to kill police officers and declare war on the government, reports the New York Daily News. Two other militia members, including leader David Stone, pleaded guilty to weapons charges.

Piatek, who spent two years in jail awaiting trial, complained that the three German Shepherd dogs seized from his Indiana home were still missing. "This never should have happened," he said as he collected his guns and ammunition. "I've shown great restraint in this whole situation. It's almost like losing a football game and then saying, 'Now go shake hands.'" The dismissal of the charges was "a victory for the Constitution," his lawyer said. The lawyer declined to say whether a civil suit would be brought, but Piatek said "it is not over."