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6 men indicted in alleged plot to kidnap Michigan governor

Michigan Governor Kidnapping Plot
Posted at 1:34 PM, Dec 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-17 18:02:25-05

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — A federal grand jury has indicted six men on charges of conspiring to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

In October, the men were arrested in what authorities describe as a plot by anti-government extremists angry over the Democratic governor's policies to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

U.S. Attorney Andrew Birge announced in a statement that the indictment was handed down Wednesday.

According to an indictment released Thursday, Adam Fox, Brandon Caserta, Ty Garbin, Kaleb Franks, and Daniel Harris, all of Michigan, and Barry Croft of Delaware, allegedly began to plan the kidnapping last summer.

According to the indictment, they allegedly conducted surveillance of Whitmer's rural vacation home and practicing the use of firearms and explosives.

On August 23, Garbin, Franks, and Caserta met up with Harris near his residence in Lake Orion, Michigan, to examine each other’s identification documents to make sure they weren't undercover law enforcement agents or informants, according to the affidavit.

WXYZ reports that federal agents were infiltrated among the group as either confidential informants and undercover FBI agents.

According to the indictment, Fox ordered $4,000 worth of explosives from an undercover agent in September.

Fox also ordered a taser in October, WXYZ reported. Fox was also photographed at the governor's summer home drawing a map of the property.

According to WXYZ, Fox, Garbin, Franks, and Harris were arrested after showing up in Ypsilanti, Michigan, to pay the undercover FBI agent posing as a co-conspirator for the explosives.

The feds say they will turn over all the evidence to defense attorneys by Jan. 15 and that the trial could last three weeks, WXYZ reported.

According to WXYZ, a trial date has not been set, but it will be held in Grand Rapids.

Defense attorneys have said their clients were "big talkers" who didn't intend to follow through on the alleged plan.

WXYZ's Jim Kiertzner contributed to this report.