Gov. Whitmer kidnappers charged for ‘Weapons of mass destruction’

Three members of extremist paramilitary groups accused of plotting to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer were hit with additional federal charges — for planning to use “weapons of mass destruction,” authorities announced Wednesday.

Adam Fox, 40, Barry Croft, 45, and Daniel Joseph Harris, 23, were each indicted on one count of knowingly conspiring to use weapons of mass destruction against persons or property, according to the indictment filed in federal court in Grand Rapids.

The trio allegedly intended to use the devices to blow up a bridge near the Democratic governor’s northern Michigan home to hinder responding law enforcement officers.
Croft and Harris were also hit with a new count of possessing a destructive device. Harris is additionally charged with possessing a short-barreled assault rifle.

The three defendants are among six men linked to the anti-government groups “Wolverine Watchmen” and the “Three Percenter Movement,” who were first charged last October with conspiring to kidnap Whitmer because they were angry over her coronavirus lockdown order, officials said.

Adam Fox (top right), Barry Croft (bottom center) and Daniel Joseph Harris (bottom left) allegedly tried to use devices to blow up a bridge near the Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s northern Michigan home.
Adam Fox (top right), Barry Croft (bottom center) and Daniel Joseph Harris (bottom left) allegedly tried to use devices to blow up a bridge near Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s northern Michigan home.
Kent County Sheriff via AP

The crew had surveilled the governor’s home and conducted field training exercises to practice “combat tactics, including assaulting motor vehicles using semiautomatic assault rifles and live ammunition,” to prepare for the ambush, the indictment alleges.

They were arrested after four of them met with an undercover FBI agent to buy $4,000 in explosives for the outrageous scheme.

Defendants Kaleb Franks and Brandon Caserta dodged additional raps while Ty Garbin, 25, entered a guilty plea in December and agreed to cooperate with authorities. Garbin is awaiting sentencing. Each of the men faces up to life in prison if convicted of the top count.

The extremist paramilitary group members allegedly surveilled Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s home and prepared for an ambush, according to the indictment.
The extremist paramilitary group members allegedly surveilled Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s home and prepared for an ambush, according to the indictment.
Michigan Office of the Governor via AP

Seven other men implicated in the kidnapping plot are charged in state court.