DETROIT — An Ohio man charged in what federal prosecutors call a Christian militia's plot to wage war against the government said Saturday that he wasn't aware of any such specific plans.
Kristopher Sickles, 27, of Sandusky, Ohio, told the Associated Press in a telephone interview from jail in Sanilac County, Mich., about 75 miles north of Detroit, that he has "never hurt anyone or taken steps to do so."
"As far as any specific plan to overthrow the government, I never heard such things," Sickles said. "There was off-color talk, but there was no set plan to overthrow this or take over that."
Sickles said he joined the Michigan-based Hutaree group to learn how to protect his family, not target the government.
"I'm not this sadistic person that they're presenting me to be," Sickles said. "I wouldn't just blindly follow someone or hurt another person."
The FBI and U.S. attorney's office in Detroit declined to comment Saturday on his remarks about the case.
Sickles is charged with seditious conspiracy; attempting to use weapons of mass destruction; and two counts of carrying, using and possessing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.
Nine suspected Hutaree members were arrested in raids in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana late last month. Prosecutors claim they plotted mass killings of police as a prelude to a larger war against the government.
A federal magistrate judge in Detroit has ordered Sickles and seven other suspects to remain locked up until trial. A ninth suspect was ordered held by a judge in Indiana and recently was transported to Michigan.