Joshua Clough, also known as “Azzurlin,” “Az” and “Mouse,” pleaded guilty to a weapons charge Monday, in the first plea deal in the case of Michigan’s Hutaree Militia.
Clough pleaded guilty to using a firearm during and in relation to a violent crime, namely a conspiracy to use bombs against local and state law enforcement officials.
Clough was a member of the anti-government Hutaree Miltia, and was among the nine members arrested in the spring of 2010 for an alleged plot “to kill an unidentified member of local law enforcement and then attack the law enforcement officers who gather in Michigan for the funeral.”
According to the plea agreement, the militia conducted military-style training, including “weapon proficiency drills, patrolling and reconnaissance exercises, demonstrations of the assembly and use of explosives.” In February 2010, Clough was trained for a “covert reconnaissance exercise” that the militia was planning for April of that year, during which he carried the firearm.
Clough had faced life in prison if convicted, but with the plea deal he will serve at least five years in federal prison.
“This was a difficult choice. I guided him to this decision and he’s comfortable with it,” said Clough attorney Randall Roberts.
The other eight alleged members of the militia are scheduled to begin trial February 7.