Tag: plots

13 charged in plots against Whitmer, Michigan government

DETROIT (AP) — Agents foiled a stunning plot to kidnap Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, authorities said Thursday in announcing charges in an alleged scheme that involved months of planning and even rehearsals to snatch Whitmer at her vacation home.

Six men were charged in federal court, while seven others accused of trying to target police and the state Capitol were charged in state court.

“All of us in Michigan can disagree about politics, but those disagreements should never, ever amount to violence. Violence has been prevented today,” Detroit U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider told reporters.

The six men charged in federal court plotted for months, consulting and training with members of a group that federal authorities described as a militia, and undertaking rehearsals in August and September, according to an FBI affidavit.

Four planned to meet Wednesday to “make a payment on explosives and exchange tactical gear,” the FBI said in the court filing.

The FBI quoted one of the accused as saying Whitmer “has no checks and balances at all. She has uncontrolled power right now. All good things must come to an end.”

A broken window was seen on a home the FBI searched in a Hartland Township mobile home park late Wednesday night.
A broken window was seen on a home the FBI searched in a Hartland Township mobile home park late Wednesday night.JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP via Getty Images

The six men charged in federal court were arrested Wednesday night and face up to life in prison if convicted. They were due in court Thursday. Andrew Birge, the U.S. attorney in western Michigan, called them “violent extremists.”

Whitmer has been praised but also deeply criticized for the state’s response to the coronavirus. She put major restrictions on personal movement throughout the state and on the economy, although many of those limits have been lifted. The Michigan Supreme Court last week said a 1945 law used as the foundation for many of the governor’s orders is unconstitutional.

The government said the plot against Whitmer was stopped with the work of undercover agents and informants.

Through electronic communications, two of the alleged conspirators “agreed to unite others in their cause and take violent action against multiple state governments that they believe are violating the U.S. Constitution,” the FBI said.

The criminal complaint identified the six as Adam Fox, Ty Garbin, Kaleb Franks, Daniel Harris, Brandon Caserta, all of Michigan, and Barry Croft of Delaware.

Fox said he needed 200 men to storm the Capitol building in Lansing and take hostages, including the governor, according to the FBI. He said he wanted to try Whitmer for “treason” and would execute the plan before the Nov. 3 election, the government said. The group later shifted to targeting the governor’s vacation home, the FBI said.

Jacob Wohl (left) and Jack Burkman (center left) are seen during an arraignment being conducted over Zoom on Thursday in Detroit. Burkman and Wohl turned themselves into law enforcement at the Detroit Detention Center early this morning and were arraigned on voter intimidation charges, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced.
Jacob Wohl (left) and Jack Burkman (center left) are seen during an arraignment being conducted over Zoom on Thursday in Detroit. Burkman and Wohl turned themselves into law enforcement at the Detroit Detention Center early this morning and were arraigned on voter intimidation charges, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced.Associated Press

The government said the scheme appeared

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13 charged in plots against Michigan government

DETROIT (AP) — Michigan’s attorney general has charged seven people with plotting to target law enforcement and attack the state Capitol building.

The announcement comes after six others were charged with plotting to kidnap Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer at her vacation home in reaction to what they viewed as her “uncontrolled power,” according to a criminal complaint unsealed Thursday in federal court.

The state attorney general announced additional charges under Michigan’s anti-terrorism law. Seven men, all in custody, are linked to the militia group Wolverine Watchmen.


They are suspected of attempting to identify the homes of law enforcement officers to “target them, made threats of violence intended to instigate a civil war.” They also planned and trained for an operation to attack the Michigan Capitol building and to kidnap government officials, including the governor, Dana Nessel said.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below.

DETROIT (AP) — Six men were charged with plotting to kidnap Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer at her vacation home in reaction to what they viewed as her “uncontrolled power,” according to a criminal complaint unsealed Thursday in federal court.

The men plotted for months, consulting and training with militia members, and undertaking rehearsals in August and September, according to the complaint. Four of the six men planned to meet Wednesday to “make a payment on explosives and exchange tactical gear,” the FBI said in the court filing.

The FBI quoted one of the accused as saying Whitmer “has no checks and balances at all. She has uncontrolled power right now. All good things must come to an end.”

The government used informants and undercover agents to thwart the alleged plot. The six men were arrested Wednesday night and each faces up to life in prison. U.S. attorney Andrew Birge called them “violent extremists.”

“All of us in Michigan can disagree about politics, but those disagreements should never, ever amount to violence. Violence has been prevented today,” Detroit U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider told reporters.

The criminal complaint said the plan involved Whitmer and her second home in northern Michigan.

Whitmer has been praised but also deeply criticized for the state’s response to the coronavirus. She put major restrictions on personal movement throughout the state and on the economy, although many of those limits have been lifted. The criminal complaint did not mention those orders.

Through electronic communications, two of the alleged conspirators “agreed to unite others in their cause and take violent action against multiple state governments that they believe are violating the U.S. Constitution,” the FBI said.

The criminal complaint identified the six as Adam Fox, Ty Garbin, Kaleb Franks, Daniel Harris, Brandon Caserta, all of Michigan, and Barry Croft of Delaware.

Fox said he needed 200 men to storm the Capitol building in Lansing and take hostages, including the governor, according to the FBI.

He said he wanted to try Whitmer for “treason” and would execute the plan before the Nov. 3 election, the government said.

Later, however, the

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