Militia Man Claims Mistaken Identity

Feds removed evidence from his home Monday

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP
    Thomas Piatek was arrested in an FBI raid for allegedly plotting to kill police officers

    At least one of the men arrested in a weekend raid says Feds got the wrong guy.

    Thomas Piatek, 46, a truck driver from Whiting, Indiana, is one of nine alleged domestic terrorists from the group Hutaree who were indicted on charges of attempting to kill police officers with a weapon of mass destruction, among others.

    Hutaree claims to be a group of Christian warriors preparing to battle the Antichrist at the end of day.

    "We believe that one day, as prophecy says, there will be an Anti-Christ. . . . Jesus wanted us to be ready to defend ourselves using the sword and stay alive using equipment," the groups web site reads.

    But Piatek, who was arrested Saturday at an apartment complex in Clarendon Hills, says there must be some sort of mistake.

    "I'm not that guy," he said to a judge during a pretrial hearing in Hammond, Indiana. "What they're alleging and what I've done are two different things," Piatek said in Hammond federal court according to the Northwest Indiana Times.

    U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul Cherry ordered a special hearing to figure it out.

    Piatek did tell the court that he had been “raped” by property taxes so he couldn't afford an attorney, according to the Chicago Tribune, but he had no plans to participate in an attack on law enforcement.

    FBI agents, however, searched his car and found a “Hutaree” sticker in the back window and a “Militia Field Manual SOP” book in the truck alongside camouflage clothing and hair dye. Agents were also seen removing boxes of evidence from Piatek's home Monday.

    Piatek lives in his childhood home in Whiting – a home on which he paid $3,400 in taxes last year – with his brother Steve and two German shepherd dogs. He’s the grandson of a former Calumet City mayor.