Gretchen Whitmer kidnap suspects now charged with ‘weapons of mass destruction’ plot

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<p>Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer speaks at Beech Woods Recreation Centre, in Southfield, Michigan, in October 2020, after an alleged kidnap plot was foiled by federal agents. </p> (AP)

Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer speaks at Beech Woods Recreation Centre, in Southfield, Michigan, in October 2020, after an alleged kidnap plot was foiled by federal agents.

(AP)

Three men accused of plotting to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer have had new charges added after a grand jury claimed that they planned to use “weapons of mass destruction” to blow up a bridge, the justice department said.

Adam Fox, 40, of Wyoming, Michigan; Barry Croft Junior, 45, of Bear, Delaware; and Daniel Joseph Harris, 23, of Lake Orion, Michigan, have been charged with conspiring to use weapons of mass destruction, in addition to a kidnapping conspiracy charge in October, Reuters reported today.

The justice department accuses them of planning to delay or harm Governor Whitmer’s security detail and nearby police officers by destroying a bridge near her holiday home, a Justice Department statement said.

The new indictment releasded on Wednesday supercedes the previous one and also alleged that Mr Croft and Mr Harris possessed a “destructive device” that was not registered as required by U.S. federal law.

It also claimed that Mr Harris possessed an unregistered semiautomatic assault rifle.

Police handout of alleged attempted kidnappers left to right, top row: Adam Fox, Kaleb Franks, Ty Garbin. Bottom row: Brandon Caserta, Daniel Harris, Barry Croft.Kent County Jail and Delaware Department of Justice
Police handout of alleged attempted kidnappers left to right, top row: Adam Fox, Kaleb Franks, Ty Garbin. Bottom row: Brandon Caserta, Daniel Harris, Barry Croft.Kent County Jail and Delaware Department of Justice

Governor Whitmer was allegedly targeted by around 14 individuals as a result of Covid-19 restrictions she put in place affecting businesses and social activities in the state.

The alleged plot to kidnap the politician from her home and leave her stranded in a boat on Lake Michigan was foiled by undercover informants and federal agents who had embedded themselves in the group.

The men reportedly met and schemed in the basement of a vacuum shop in the Grand Rapids area and held training exercises at various locations across the state.

Ty Garbin, 25, of Hartland Township, pleaded guilty in December to conspiracy to kidnap Whitmer.

The remaining defendents Mrs Fox, Croft, Franks, Harris and Caserta face potential life sentences if convicted of the kidnapping conspiracy.

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