According to ABC on the 18th, a federal grand jury in the United States accused six men of plotting to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. Investigators said it was a conspiracy by a group of anti-government extremists, citing their anger at Whitmer’s policies to fight against the novel coronavirus.
Indictment released Thursday by U.S. Attorney Andrew Birge on Adam Dean Fox, Barry Gordon Croft Jr., Ty · Ty Gerard Garbin, Kaleb James Franks, Daniel Joseph Harris, Brandon Michael – Brandon Michael-Ray Caserta filed a conspiracy charge. They are all Michiganders except Croft, Delaware.
Birch said in a statement that the maximum penalty for the charge is life imprisonment.
The six men were arrested in early October after the FBI investigated a criminal conspiracy to kidnap Whitmer at his residence on vacation in northern Michigan.
The defense lawyer said that their client was just “hype” and did not intend to really carry out the so-called plan.
The indictment reiterated the allegations made at a hearing last October, when FBI agent Richard Trask testified that these people were involved in paramilitary organizations.
Fox and Croft attended a conference in Dublin, Ohio in June, at which the possible kidnapping of the governor and other actions were discussed, the indictment said. At the hearing, Trask said that Ralph Northam, a Democrat governor of Virginia, was also one of the potential targets mentioned.
Fox later met Gabin, the leader of a Michigan group called Wolverine Watchmen, at a rally outside the Michigan Capitol, the report said. At one meeting, the two and other “watchers” agreed to work together “towards a common goal”, the document said.
The indictment describes live-fire “field training exercises” and other preparations, including surveillance of Whitmer’s holiday home and the exchange of encrypted information. At one training event, “They practiced attacking a building in small groups and discussed tactics of using improvised explosive devices, projectile launchers and other weapons to exchange fire with the governor’s security personnel.”
They also discussed destroying a highway bridge near Whitmer’s home to prevent law enforcement from responding, the report said.
The indictment said that if they met the police while on a reconnaissance mission, “they should give the police a chance to leave and kill them if they do not obey,” the indictment said.
The six people were arrested after four of them met with an FBI undercover agent to purchase explosives and other materials.