State Watch

Grand jury indicts six men over alleged plot to kidnap Whitmer

A federal grand jury has indicted six men over the alleged plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D).

U.S. Attorney Andrew Birge on Thursday released the indictment, charging Adam Fox, Barry Croft, Ty Garbin, Kaleb Franks, Daniel Harris and Brandon Caserta with conspiracy to kidnap. They face up to life in prison if convicted.

The six were arrested in early October, with the FBI saying at the time that it became aware of their discussions several months ago and investigated the conspiracy through a combination of undercover agents and confidential informants.

The FBI said the men, who objected to coronavirus restrictions Whitmer put in place, had made several references online to murdering “tyrants.”

According to the indictment, the men reportedly ordered $4,000 worth of explosives from an FBI agent posing as a co-conspirator in September. In October, four of the men met with the agent, and used “group cash” for a “good-faith payment” toward the explosives.

The indictment also details alleged “field training” exercises the men participated in.

Fox allegedly first proposed kidnapping Whitmer during a meeting in August, after which the suspects began communicating in an encrypted messaging group on a service that would allow them to instantly delete messages in case of contact with law enforcement.

The men also conducted surveillance of Whitmer’s vacation home in September, according to the indictment.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel (D) has separately charged eight men, including the six facing federal charges, with supporting terrorist acts and possessing firearms in relation to the plot. At least some of those charged participated in various demonstrations against Whitmer near the state capitol in Lansing.

Nessel’s and Whitmer’s offices declined to comment Thursday on the federal indictment.

An FBI agent previously testified that the group also discussed kidnapping Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D), who has also faced conservative pushback over his coronavirus restrictions.

—Updated at 1:25 p.m.

Tags dana nessel Gretchen Whitmer Gretchen Whitmer kidnapping plot Michigan Ralph Northam Virginia Whitmer kidnapping plot

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