Second guilty plea made in alleged kidnapping plot of Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

On Wednesday, a second man charged in the plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer pleaded guilty and agreed to testify for the prosecution at the federal trial of four other defendants.

27-year-old Kaleb Franks of Waterford, Michigan admitted in U.S. District in Grand Rapids that he and other members of the ‘Wolverine Watchmen’ — a Michigan-based self-styled “militia” group — hatched the plot to abduct Whitmer at her summer home in 2020 because they were upset by the state’s COVID-19 restrictions. The plot, which allegedly included plans to use semiautomatic assault-type weapons and to bomb a bridge near Whitmer’s vacation home, was foiled by undercover law enforcement officers who infiltrated the group.

Franks admitted in court that the kidnapping plan originated solely with him and the others charged in the conspiracy.  25-year-old Ty Garbin, the other man charged in the case, pleaded guilty last year to firearms charges and conspiracy charges of providing material support for terrorists. Garbin was sentenced in August to 75 months in prison. Garbin is also expected to testify for the prosecution in the upcoming federal trial for Adam Fox, 40, Barry Croft Jr., 45, Daniel Harris, 24, and Brandon Caserta, 33.  In addition, eight other men face charges in state court stemming from the kidnap plot. Attorneys for those suspects filed a motion to dismiss the charges, arguing they were entrapped; the judge, however, rejected that motion.

Editorial credit: yui / Shutterstock.com

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