Federal judge: Surveillance of governor's vacation home shows kidnapping plot was serious

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Croft is one of several people charged with plotting to kidnap Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, authorities said Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020, in announcing charges in an alleged scheme that involved months of planning and even rehearsals to snatch Whitmer from her vacation home.

Pete Musco, 42, of Munith, Mich.

Garbin- who the feds say is a member of a shadowy militia group called the Wolverine Watchmen- was among 14 males detained on state and federal charges for the failed plot, which also at the same time called for them to presumably storm the capital and kidnap authorities, consisting of the gov.

As of Thursday, a total of 14 men from MI and Wisconsin have been arrested on charges that they planned, among other things, to kidnap Gov. Whitmer, take her to Wisconsin to face a trial before them, and execute her. Another member of the group, Ty Garbin, was denied his bail under a USA judge's decision on the same day.

A sixth man, Barry Croft, was separately ordered on Tuesday to be transferred to MI from his home state of Delaware. Berens on Tuesday denied bond for the three other MI residents charged in the case: Kaleb Franks, Daniel Harris and Brandon Caserta.

MI has been a hot spot for disagreements over shutdowns and other restrictions Whitmer ordered to try to slow the spread of the coronavirus - actions that allegedly sparked the plot against her.

Nessel said she couldn't go into detail on the charges at the moment.

The state suspects hoped that by attacking the capitol and law enforcement officers, they would "instigate a civil war leading to societal collapse", Nessel said.

Wisconsin man Brian Higgins was charged Thursday in the state case with material assistance of an act of terrorism. "These were very credible, and very serious threats to our elected officials and the public in general, and the swift actions taken by state and federal authorities this past week are nothing short of heroic". The county district attorney's office said it wasn't known when he would appear in court there. Court dates have not yet been scheduled and it was not immediately clear if he has obtained an attorney.

Another suspect in the state case, Paul Bellar, is facing extradition from SC where he was arrested last week.

The other suspects facing state charges are in custody in MI jails, the attorney general's office says.



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