Federal authorities announced Thursday that they arrested six suspects for plotting to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer.
In a criminal complaint, the FBI alleged Adam Fox, Barry Croft, Ty Garbin, Kaleb Franks, Daniel Harris, and Brandon Caserta conspired to recruit militia members and take Whitmer hostage from her vacation home in northern Michigan. The conspirators planned to take Whitmer to a secret location in Wisconsin — where she would stand “trial” for treason before the presidential election in November, according to The Detroit News.
All six suspects are from Michigan except Croft, who lives in Delaware. Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel told reporters Thursday that the kidnapping plot was “serious and credible” and said that seven other men had been arrested for allegedly planning to storm the Capitol building in Lansing.
The complaint indicated that on Wednesday, authorities executed a raid at a home in Hartland, Michigan.
Federal authorities accused the group of conducting surveillance on Whitmer’s vacation home on two instances in August. The militia group allegedly held several meetings over the summer during which they did firearms training, combat drills, and attempted to build IEDs. The devices were defective and did not detonate as intended, the complaint detailed.
The Detroit News reported that in June, an FBI informant recorded a secret meeting attended by Croft, Fox, and 13 others. The agency had been watching the suspects since March, after a local law enforcement agency learned they were trying to obtain police officers’ home addresses, according to The Detroit News.
“The group talked about creating a society that followed the U.S. Bill of Rights and where they could be self-sufficient. At one point, several members talked about state governments they believed were violating the U.S. Constitution, including the government of Michigan and Governor Gretchen Whitmer,” the FBI wrote.
Nessel also revealed Thursday that her office arrested seven more men for allegedly planning to attack the Capitol building and attempting to “instigate a Civil War.” The attorney general said the men are linked to a Michigan-based militia group called Wolverine Watchmen.
WOOD reported that the seven additional suspects are William Null, 38, Michael Null, 38, Eric Molitor, 36, Paul Bellar, 21, Sean Fix, 38, Pete Musico, 42, and Joseph Morrison, 42. The seven men are facing various charges, including providing material support for terrorist acts and firearm offenses.
The seven suspects are scheduled to be arraigned on Thursday afternoon.
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[Featured image: Gretchen Whitmer/Michigan Governor’s Office]