Two Men Convicted Of Plotting Gretchen Whitmer’s Kidnapping

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FILE PHOTO: Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer visits the Ford Bronco off-road track during the Motor Bella 2021 auto show in Pontiac, Michigan

Two Men Convicted Of Plotting Gretchen Whitmer’s Kidnapping

Trevor Schakohl on August 23, 2022

Two men were convicted Tuesday of planning to kidnap Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in 2020.

The retrial jury found Adam Fox and Barry Croft Jr. guilty of conspiracy to commit kidnapping and possession of a weapon of mass destruction, with Croft receiving an additional conviction for possession of an unregistered destructive device. The jury had deliberated for around eight hours total, according to Detroit News federal courts reporter Robert Snell.

Fox and Croft had not received a verdict in their initial April trial, which found two other men not guilty of allegedly plotting Whitmer’s kidnapping in response to her COVID-19 restrictions, according to The Associated Press. Their defense claimed the FBI entrapped them, the outlet reported.

The four men and two others were arrested in October 2020 after federal officials accused them of conspiring to kidnap Whitmer, while seven others were arrested on state charges in the case according to Reuters. Just over half of the men were linked to the Wolverine Watchmen militia, the outlet reported.

Kaleb Franks and Ty Garbin previously pleaded guilty in the case and testified against Fox and Croft, according to Fox 17. Garbin received a 75-month prison sentence on a felony conspiracy charge, while Franks awaits sentencing, the outlet reported.

The judge relieved the jurors of their duties Tuesday after the verdicts were revealed.

Andrew Birge, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan, said in a news release that Tuesday’s verdict “confirms this plot was very real and very dangerous.”

“These men posed a threat not only to the Governor personally but also to bystanders,” Birge said. “No elected leader should have to contend with what Governor Whitmer faced here. She deserves to live in safety, not in fear, just like everyone else in our State. All of our elected leaders deserve that, and the Justice Department will not tolerate violent extremist plots of this nature seeking to undermine our democracy.”

This story has been updated with comments from the Justice Department.

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