Men accused of plotting to kidnap Michigan governor

Travel City, Mitch. (AP) – A federal grand jury has charged six people with plotting to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, with investigators saying a conspiracy by anti-government extremists angry over its coronavirus policies.

The indictment, filed Thursday by U.S. Attorney Bir Andrew Birj, includes conspiracy charges against Adam Dean Fox, Barry Gordon Croft Jr., Ty Gerard Garbin, Caleb James Franks, Daniel Joseph Harris and Brandon Michael-Ray Cassarta. All of them are from Michigan, except for Croft, who lives in Delaware.

The charge carries a maximum life sentence in prison, Birj said in a statement.

The six were arrested in early October following an FBI investigation into an alleged plot to kidnap the Democratic governor at his vacation home in northern Michigan.

Defense attorneys said their clients were “big talkers” who did not intend to follow the alleged plan.

The allegations echo the allegations made during the October October hearing, where agent Richard Tresc testified that the men belonged to paramilitary groups.

Fox and Croft attended a June meeting in Dublin, Ohio, to discuss possible kidnappings of governors and other actions, the indictment said. During the hearing, Tursk said the people named as potential targets included Virginia’s Democratic governor, Ralph Northeim.

He says Fox later met Garbin, the leader of the Michigan group known as the “Wolverine Watchmen”, at a rally outside the Michigan Capitol in Lansing. At a meeting in Grand Rapids, the two men and other members of the Watch Chaman agreed to work together “toward their common goals,” the document said.

It describes other preparations, including a live-fire “field training exercise” and Whitmer’s vacation house surveillance and exchange of encrypted messages.

During a training event, “they practiced attacking the building in teams, and discussing tactics to combat the governor’s security details with improvised explosive devices, a projectile launcher and other weapons,” the indictment said.

They also discussed destroying the highway bridge near Whitmer’s home so as not to be held accountable by law enforcement, he said.

In the electronic message, Caserta wrote that if the men encountered police during the reconnaissance mission, “they should give the officers a chance to get out of there, and kill them if they do not comply.”

Defendant says the four members det October. Det Me Detoit held a meeting in Yipsilanti, west of Detroit, in October to meet with an undercover FBI agent and buy explosives and other supplies.

Eight other men who are said to be members or associates of Wolverine Watchmen have been charged in state court with providing material support for terrorist acts. Some of them are accused of participating in an alleged conspiracy against Whiter.


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