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The FBI says it has thwarted a militia's plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

Press conference at 1 p.m.
The FBI says it has thwarted a group's plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer
Posted at 9:16 AM, Oct 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-09 09:03:39-04

A total of 13 people linked to a militia group have been charged by the federal government and the state of Michigan in to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Six men — Adam Fox, Barry Croft, Ty Garbin, Kaleb Franks, Daniel Harris and Brandon Caserta — were charged by the federal government, according to a criminal complaint from the FBI. Croft is from Delaware; the rest are Michigan residents.

Additionally, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced that seven other people, linked to the Michigan-based militia group "Wolverine Watchmen" have been charged by the state in relation to the plot.

According to the FBI's complaint, the militia attempted to recruit members for the operation, which included storming the Capitol building in Lansing and taking hostages, including Whitmer.

The suspects, now under arrest, are alleged to have called on the groups’ members to identify the home addresses of law enforcement officers in order to target them; made threats of violence to instigate a civil war leading to societal collapse; and engaged in the planning and training for an operation to attack the state Capitol building and kidnap government officials, including Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

In total, 19 state felony charges were filed by the Attorney General against seven individuals known to be members of the militia group, Wolverine Watchmen or associates of Wolverine Watchmen.

The plan was reportedly supposed to be executed before the November 2020 election.

The militia group reportedly held several meetings over the summer, where they participated in firearms training and combat drills.

According to the complaint, they also attempted to build IED devices, which were faulty and did not detonate as planned.

The group then reportedly decided to abduct the governor at her vacation home in western Michigan and take her to a secure location in Wisconsin for "trial."

In August, federal officials say the group allegedly conducted surveillance of her home on two occasions.
On Wednesday night, the FBI and Michigan State Police spent hours raiding a home in Hartland, Michigan — a town about an hour west of Detroit — on Wednesday night, which continued into the early morning of Thursday.

The house is located on Lansing Avenue in Hartland Meadows near M-59 in Livingston County.

Several Michigan State Police vehicles, including their SWAT team, were also on scene alongside FBI agents. Some officers were dressed in camo gear carrying guns. U.S. Attorney Andrew Birge said the suspects were conducting a meeting regarding the plot at the time of the raid.

"Those of us in Michigan can disagree about politics, but those disagreements should never end in violence," U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider said.

This story was originally published by WXYZ in Detroit.