After Thwarted Kidnapping Plans, Whitmer Calls for Unity

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addressed the State of Michigan after a plan to kidnap her and other Michigan government officials was thwarted by state and federal law enforcement agencies. She started by saying thank you to law enforcement and FBI agents who participated in stopping this [...]

MIVOTERGUIDE.COM

Make Michigan Progressive Again.

Get the 2020 Michigan Progressive Voters Guide and find out which candidates on your personal ballot are dedicated to supporting progressive politics and equality and justice for all Americans.

Get My Voter Guide

FBI Reports Michigan Militia had Plot to Kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, AG Nessel Hosts Press Conference on Charges

By |2020-10-09T10:35:17-04:00October 8th, 2020|Breaking, Michigan, News|

Six people have been charged by the federal government with conspiring to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and other government and law enforcement officials. Seven others have been charged by the state of Michigan for conspiring to commit terrorist acts brought by Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel. Law enforcement reports that all 13 are in custody at this time.

Nessel held a press conference today “regarding significant law enforcement operation and criminal charges” of those involved with the kidnapping plot.

“The interagency effort represented here in tandem with my office culminated in the execution of several search warrants and arrests across the state including in the communities of Grand Rapids, Hartland, Luther, Canton, Orion Township, Waterford, Belleville, Milford, Cadillac, Shelbyville, Plainwell, Zeeland, Munith, Ovid, Kalamazoo, Charlotte, Clarkston, Sterling Heights and Shelby Township,” she said.

Nessel was joined by Andrew Birge, US attorney for the western district of Michigan; Matthew Schneider, US attorney for the eastern district of Michigan; Josh Hauxhurst, FBI assistant special agent-in-charge; and Michigan State Police Col. Joseph Gasper.

“Last night, the FBI and Michigan State Police arrested six individuals charged in a federal complaint with conspiring to kidnap the governor of Michigan, Gretchen Whitmer. According to the complaint unsealed this morning, Adam Fox, Barry Croft, Ty Garbin, Kaleb Franks, Daniel Harris and Brandon Caserta conspired to kidnap the governor from her vacation home in the western district of Michigan before the November election,” Birge said. “Under federal law, each of these individuals faces a term of any number of years up to life in prison if convicted.”

Fox, Garbin, Franks, Harris and Caserta are residents of Michigan, while Croft is a resident of Delaware. Birge said that the FBI began an investigation of these individuals earlier in the year after becoming aware of their presence on a social media group where they were “discussing the violent overthrow of certain government and law enforcement components.”

“Through confidential sources, undercover agents and clandestine reportings, law enforcement learned particular individuals were planning to kidnap the governor and acting in furtherance of that plan. The alleged conspirators used operational security measures including by communicating by encrypted messaging platforms and used code words and phrases in an attempt to avoid detection by law enforcement,” Birge said. “Among other activities, members of this conspiracy conducted on two occasions coordinated surveillance on the governor’s vacation home.”

Birge went on to say that, according to the complaint, Fox and Croft discussed “detonating explosive devices to divert police from the area of the home and Fox even inspected the underside of a Michigan highway bridge for places to seat an explosive.”

Birge’s office, the US Attorney’s office for the Western District of Michigan, is prosecuting this federal case with assistance from the US Attorney’s offices in the Eastern District of Michigan and Delaware.

Nessel’s office filed state charges against seven people in addition to the charges already announced by the US Attorney’s Office in the Western District.

  • Paul Beller, age 21 of Milford, is charged with three felony counts: providing material support for terrorist acts, gang membership and carrying or possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony.
  • Shaun Fix, age 38, of Belleville is charged with two felony counts: providing material support for terrorist acts and carrying or possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony.
  • Eric Molitor, age 36 of Cadillac is charged with two felony counts: providing material support for terrorist acts and carrying or possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony.
  • Michael Null, age 38 of Plainwell, is charged with two felony counts: providing material support for terrorist acts and carrying or possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony.
  • William Null, of Shelbyville, is charged with two felony counts: providing material support for terrorist acts and carrying or possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony.
  • Pete Muscio, age 42, of Munith is charged with four felony counts: threat of terrorism, gang membership, one count each of providing material support for terrorist acts and one count each of carrying or possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony.
  • Joseph Morrison, age 42, of Munith is charged with four felony counts: threat of terrorism, gang membership, one count each of providing material support for terrorist acts and one count each of carrying or possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony.

This is a developing story.

About the Author:

Eve Kucharski
As news and feature editor at Between The Lines, Eve Kucharski's work has spanned the realms of current events and entertainment. She's chatted with stars like Wanda Sykes, Margaret Cho and Tyler Oakley as well as political figures like Gloria Steinem, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Attorney General Dana Nessel. Her coverage of the November 2018 elections was also featured in a NowThis News report.