Another person charged in alleged plot to kidnap MI governor

Grant Boone
October 18, 2020

Authorities found conversations among group members in which they were anxious that federal authorities had infiltrated their planning sessions, he said.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Sally Berens on Tuesday ordered Kaleb Franks, Daniel Harris and Brandon Caserta held without bond until trial, saying their repeated participation in discussions about abducting Michigan's Democratic governor and surveillance of Whitmer's vacation home validated the decision.

Prosecutors provided enough evidence to move toward trial for five MI men accused of plotting to kidnap the state's governor, a federal judge ruled Friday in Grand Rapids.

Higgins is the eighth man charged by MI authorities in the case, all of them described by prosecutors as members or associates of an anti-government militia group called the Wolverine Watchmen.

Fifty-one year-old Brian Higgins is charged with material support of an act of terrorism. a felony that carries a maximum of 20-years in prison.

Police arrested Higgins in Wisconsin on Thursday and he is jailed pending extradition to MI, where he's expected to face trial alongside seven other suspects charged with crimes under Michigan's anti-terrorism and firearms statutes.

A sixth man Brian Croft is also charged in the case and awaiting transfer from DE to MI.

Defense lawyer Mark Satawa asked a judge to release Garbin on bond to his home with electronic monitoring and supervision from his parents - including his military veteran father.

An FBI agent testified during a federal court hearing this week that Whitmer and Virginia Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam had been mentioned during a June 6 meeting of groups of extremists from several states, including at least two of the federal defendants.

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The county district attorney's office said it wasn't known when he would appear in court there.

The eight men are members of the militia group Wolverine Watchmen or are associates of the group, the attorney general's office said.

"You're crossing a pretty serious line when you go in the middle of the night in multiple cars and stage up at a gas station and. you go to the house of the sitting governor of the state to go surveil their house at night", Kessler said. Berens found that the information presented in testimony and in court documents showed the men had a unified objective - to kidnap Whitmer - allowing the case to move forward.

Five of the men accused in a plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will return to federal court Friday as a hearing on whether there is enough evidence to charge them continues.

"The fact that (the plan) was likely to be unsuccessful or hard to accomplish" isn't relevant to decide whether there is probable cause that they made a plan, she said.

This booking photo provided by the Delaware Department of Justice shows Barry Croft.

The men trained together in tactical exercises and eventually discussed plans to kidnap Whitmer before the November election, the affidavit says.

"She (Whitmer) wants to be a dictator in MI, and the can't stand her", Trump said.

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