The FBI charged six men on Thursday with conspiracy to kidnap after their plan to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and bring her to Wisconsin to “stand ‘trial’ for treason” before the 2020 presidential election was revealed in a report by The Detroit News.
The investigation reportedly started in early 2020 when the FBI learned through social media that individuals were discussing the violent overthrow of several state governments and law enforcement.
“Several members talked about murdering ‘tyrants’ or ‘taking’ a sitting governor,” an FBI agent wrote in the affidavit. “The group decided they needed to increase their numbers and encouraged each other to talk to their neighbors and spread their message.”
The six men charged are: Adam Fox, Ty Garbin, Kaleb Franks, Daniel Harris, Brandon Caserta from Michigan and Delaware resident Barry Croft. They allegedly conducted surveillance at Whitmer’s vacation home twice, according to the Detroit News.
According to court documents, the FBI planted an undercover agent to travel to Dublin, Ohio, on June 6 for a meeting with Croft, Fox and about 13 others.
“The group talked about creating a society that followed the U.S. Bill of Rights and where they could be self-sufficient,” the affidavit said. “They discussed different ways of achieving this goal from peaceful endeavors to violent actions. 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. As part of that recruitment effort, [Adam] Fox reached out to a Michigan-based militia group.”
By June 14, a second FBI informant confirmed that Fox met with the leader of a militia group in Michigan. In their conservation Fox allegedly said he needed 200 men to storm Michigan State Capitol and take hostages including Gov. Whitmer.
Six days later Fox, Garbin and others met in the basement of Fox’s business in Michigan to hand over their cell phones that would be hidden in a trap door under a rug in the floor of Fox’s business establishment.
At this meeting the complaint says: “The attendees discussed plans for assaulting the Michigan State Capitol, countering law enforcement first responders, and using ‘Molotov cocktails’ to destroy police vehicles. The attendees also discussed plans for an additional meeting during the first weekend of July when they also would conduct firearms and tactical training”.
The five men who are Michigan residents will appear in court on Thursday. The location of the Delaware resident is unknown.