MI Kidnapping Plotters Hit With Federal Grand Jury Indictment

U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Michigan
|
December 17, 2020 10:57 a.m.

A federal grand jury returned an indictment Wednesday against six men previously charged with plotting to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D). 

The indictment charges the men with with a single count of conspiring to kidnap the governor, the same charge levied against them in the criminal complaint that accompanied their arrests in OctoberThe six-page document doesn’t levy any new charges against the men, but it does shed some additional light on what authorities know about their actions — gathered in part through the extensive use of confidential sources.

For example, in September the men allegedly discussed tactics for fighting the governor’s security detail using improvised explosives and a projectile launcher.

In October, alleged conspirator Brandon Caserta told his alleged co-conspirators a few days before their arrest that if they encountered police during a reconnaissance, “they should give the officers one opportunity to leave, and kill them if they did not comply,” according to the indictment.

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The six men arrested in October — Caserta, Adam Fox, Brand Croft, Ty Garbin, Kaleb Franks and Daniel Harris — now face potential life sentences in federal prison. 

They’ve all pleaded not guilty, and lawyers have argued that they were not serious about carrying out the actions they allegedly discussed and trained for over several months. 

But the men made prosecutors’ jobs easier by heavily documenting their adventures, snapping photos of themselves allegedly scoping out the governor’s house and texting about the potential of blowing up a bridge to slow police response.

U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Michigan
U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Michigan

Eight men face separate state charges for the kidnapping plot. In a statement accompanying the federal grand jury announcement, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Michigan noted, “The investigation is ongoing.” 

Read the indictment below:

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