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Federal grand jury charges six men in alleged plot to kidnap Governor Whitmer


Update: Five of the six men charged in the alleged plot have pleaded not guilty to the charges in the grand jury indictment. The sixth man, Barry Croft, has not yet been arraigned on the charges.

A federal grand jury has indicted six of the men charged in the alleged plot to kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

The men have been held in custody since October, when federal agents arrested them and a magistrate judge decided there was enough evidence against them to keep them in custody. But until now, the men had not been formally charged with a crime.

The six men are Adam Fox, Ty Garbin, Kaleb Franks, Daniel Harris, Brandon Caserta and Barry Croft. All of the men except Croft are from Michigan. Croft is a resident of Delaware. His case was transferred to Michigan for prosecution.

Prosecutors say the men the men were motivated by a desire to overthrow the government, and planned to kidnap Governor Whitmer because she was a “tyrant.” Many of the men participated in protests at the state capitol earlier this year against the Governor’s emergency pandemic orders. As they pursued their alleged plan, throughout the summer, prosecutors say the men stopped going to protests in order to keep a low profile.

In bringing the indictment, the Grand Jury decided there is enough evidence for the men to face trial on the charges. Eight other men face criminal charges at the state level.

A federal magistrate judge in Grand Rapids is holding status conferences for each of the six men charged in federal court this morning.

This story will be updated.

Dustin Dwyer reports enterprise and long-form stories from Michigan Public’s West Michigan bureau. He was a fellow in the class of 2018 at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard. He’s been with Michigan Public since 2004, when he started as an intern in the newsroom.
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