FBI investigating group linked to Freedom Township pipe bombing, records show
The FBI is involved in the investigation into the "Ferris Organization" — an alleged drug trafficking and arson-for-hire ring whose members were charged in a Sept. 11, 2009 pipe bombing outside a Freedom Township bar, federal court documents say.
Washtenaw County prosecutors charged six men in connection with the explosion and arson at Pleasant Lake Inn, which investigators say was retribution for an alleged financial dispute the group had with the bar's owners.
Brothers 19-year-old Joshua Andrew Hafner-Canter of Manchester and 21-year-old Joseph Allen Hafner-Canter of Saline have already pleaded guilty in Washtenaw County Court to charges including arson in the case. Four others, including suspected ringleader William Ferris, are awaiting trial.
According to Michigan State Police, several of the group's members went to the bar on Pleasant Lake Road at about 11:20 p.m. Sept. 11 on orders to retaliate against an employee who reportedly owed one of their associates money.
One member set a fire in the basement to divert people's attention while another member threw a pipe bomb at the bar, but it fell short of the target, police said.
Court records filed Jan. 6 in federal court in Flint show agents executed a search warrant Dec. 15 at an alleged member's Rogers City home, seizing bank statements and a letter.
According to court records, the organization is believed to have at least 10 members.