Michigander Pleads Guilty To Plot To Kidnap Guv, Will Cooperate With Feds

Kent County Sheriff's Office, TPM Illustration
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January 27, 2021 2:25 p.m.

One of the six men charged federally last year with plotting the kidnapping of Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) has pleaded guilty to a conspiracy to kidnap charge and pledged to cooperate with federal authorities. 

Prosecutors filed Ty Garbin’s plea agreement with the court shortly before he swore to a judge that he would help law enforcement with the prosecutions of his fellow alleged kidnapping plotters. In addition to the six men charged federally in connection to the plot, eight others face charges in state court. 

A stipulation of facts included in Garbin’s plea agreement included an ominous planning note: During training meetings in June and July, the alleged conspirators discussed a plot to “storm the State Capitol” and either kidnap or hang the governor. 

Determining that the Capitol building would be to difficult to breach, the conspirators allegedly decided to target Whitmer’s summer home instead. 

The plotters allegedly took elaborate surveillance trips and discussed detonating explosives under bridges in order to hamper police response. Unbeknownst to the alleged conspirators, they were being listened to by confidential FBI sources, including an undercover agent named “Red” who ultimately facilitated their arrest.

The stipulation of facts included other details as well: On Sept. 13, the plea agreement noted, alleged conspirator Barry Croft suggested using a projectile launcher to shoot at the lead vehicle in the governor’s motorcade from the back of a truck. 

A few days later, defendant Adam Fox allegedly said in an encrypted chat that he was preparing the basement where he worked — a vacuum repair shop — for close quarters combat training, to “work on acquiring an asset and detaining for extraction,” he said. 

Garbin knew that the “asset” in question was the governor, the plea deal stipulated. Fox allegedly said he had a Taser and zip ties to help with “neutralizing” the governor.

The group was ultimately arrested during a meeting staged by the undercover FBI agent to appear as a transaction for explosives. 

After the group’s arrest — while in custody — Fox allegedly told Garbin that he’d brought cash with him to the meeting as a down payment for the explosives.

Fox is the first in the crew to plead guilty.

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