Trial date set for six men involved in alleged plot to kidnap Gov. Whitmer


Gov. Gretchen Whitmer provides an update on COVID-19 in Michigan during a Nov. 12, 2020, press conference in Lansing. (Courtesy Michigan Executive Office of the Governor)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A federal judge has set a March 23 trial date for six men charged with plotting to kidnap Michigan’s governor in what authorities say was a plot by anti-government extremists who were angry over her coronavirus policies.

Chief U.S. District Judge Robert Jonker in Grand Rapids set the date Friday.

In December, a grand jury indicted Adam Dean Fox, Barry Gordon Croft Jr., Ty Gerard Garbin, Kaleb James Franks, Daniel Joseph Harris and Brandon Michael-Ray Caserta on a conspiracy charge that carries a maximum penalty of life in prison. They are all from Michigan except for Croft, who lives in Delaware.

The six were arrested in early October following an FBI investigation into an alleged plot to kidnap Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer at her vacation home in northern Michigan.

Several of their attorneys argued that their clients were “big talkers” who did not intend to follow through with action.

Eight other men who are said to be members or associates of the Wolverine Watchmen are charged in state court with counts including providing material support for terrorist acts. Some of them are accused of taking part in the alleged plot against Whitmer.

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