13 Charged In Plan To Kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer
Governor Gretchen Whitmer addresses the state on October 8th.
LANSING - Thirteen people have been charged by the FBI with plotting to kidnap government officials and Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer.
Adam Fox, Barry Croft, Ty Garbin, Kaleb Franks, Daniel Harris and Brandon Caserta have all been charged in the plot. Croft resides in Delaware but all the other individuals charged reside in locations all over the state of Michigan.
“The FBI began an investigation earlier this year after becoming aware that through social media that a group of individuals was discussing the violent overthrow of certain government and law enforcement components,” said the US Attorney for The Western District of Michigan, Andrew Birge.
According to published reports, a summarized timeline of events leading up the charges that was pulled from the criminal complaint are as followed;
On June 14th, Fox communicated with an FBI informant about a previous meeting in Dublin, Ohio where he said he needed 200 men to storm the capitol in Lansing, Michigan to take hostages. Fox also said the plan would be executed before the November 3, 2020 election.
After numerous discussions, tactical training, firearms training and other combat drills, on July 18th, audio was recorded of the individuals charged during a discussion about attacking a Michigan State Police facility and shooting up the Governors’ vacation home.
“Snatch and grab, man,” said Fox when referring to abducting the Governor in an encrypted group text. The group planned to transport the governor to a location in Wisconsin if successful.
On August 29th, an FBI informant, Fox and another individual surveillanced the Governor's home and estimated how long Michigan State Police would take before police arrived at her house in the case of the kidnapping. The house was surveillanced again by Fox on August 30th according to encrypted text messages between the individuals charged and an FBI informant.
Nighttime surveillance was conducted by the group of individuals throughout the weekend of September 12th.
“Kidnapping, arson, death. I don’t care,” said Fox, in reference to kidnapping the governor.
On October 7th, Fox, Garbin, Harris and Franks planned to make a payment for explosives and tactical gear to assist in the plan.
“All of us in Michigan can disagree about politics, but those disagreements should never ever amount to violence,” said the US Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan, Matthew Schneider.
“When I put my hand on the Bible and took the oath of office 22 months ago, I knew this job would be hard,” said Whitmer. “But I’ll be honest, I never could have imagined anything like this.”
The governor thanked all those who participated in the investigation and executed the arrests.
“As a mom with two teenage daughters and three stepsons, my husband and I are eternally grateful to everyone who put themselves in harms way to keep our family safe,” said Whitmer.