By | Been Written
Contributing Writer | Telegraph Local
A shocking plot to kidnap Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was shut down by federal agents, authorities said Thursday.
Apparently the alleged scheme involved months of planning by the suspects and even rehearsals to snatch her from her vacation home.
All together, 13 men were arrested for their involvement in the plot.
Federal authorities say six men helped orchestrate a plot to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer from her vacation home before the Nov. 3 election. The six were arrested and placed in custody, charged with multiple felonies that could result in life in prison for some if convicted, according to Detroit Free Press.
State law enforcement authorities wrote in court documents that “the Wolverine Watchmen have called on members to identify law enforcement officers’ home addresses in order to target the officers, have made threats of violence to instigate a civil war leading to societal collapse, and have engaged in planning and training for an operation to attack the Capitol of Michigan, and kidnap Government officials including the Governor of Michigan.”
What is the Wolverine Watchmen?
The Detroit News says that extremism experts say they had never heard of the Wolverine Watchmen until members of the militia group were accused Thursday of a conspiracy to overthrow the government as part of plans to kidnap the governor.
The FBI said the group’s members planned the alleged crime over several months by communicating via a private Facebook page and in encrypted group chats.
The FBI quoted one of the men as saying Whitmer “has no checks and balances at all. She has uncontrolled power right now. All good things must come to an end.”
How Were They Stopped?
Authorities said the plots were stopped with the work of undercover agents and informants. The men were arrested Wednesday night.
Although it’s been alleged, so far there is no indication in the criminal complaint that the men were inspired by President Trump. Authorities also have not publicly said whether the men were angry about Whitmer’s coronavirus orders.
The criminal complaint identified the six accused in the plot against Whitmer as Adam Fox, Ty Garbin, Kaleb Franks, Daniel Harris, Brandon Caserta, all of Michigan, and Barry Croft of Delaware.
All but Croft appeared Thursday in federal court in Grand Rapids. They asked for court-appointed lawyers and were returned to jail to await detention hearings Tuesday.
The six charged in federal court face up to life in prison if convicted. The state terrorism charges the other seven men face carry a possible 20-year sentence, according to the Chicago Tribune.