WMD charges added against men accused of plotting to kidnap Michigan governor

imageWorld11 minutes ago (Apr 28, 2021 03:40PM ET)

(C) Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Michigan Governor Whitmer visits the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -A federal grand jury brought additional charges on Wednesday against three men accused of plotting to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, saying they planned to use weapons of mass destruction to blow up a bridge.

Adam Fox, 40, of Wyoming, Michigan; Barry Croft Jr., 45, of Bear, Delaware; and Daniel Joseph Harris, 23, of Lake Orion, Michigan, were charged with knowingly conspiring to use weapons of mass destruction against persons or property, the U.S. Justice Department said.

Fox, Croft and Harris along with Brandon Caserta, Ty Garbin and Kaleb Franks were arrested and charged in October with conspiring to grab Whitmer, a Democrat, from her vacation home in Antrim County, a rural area in northern Michigan.

Prosecutors said the men, who face up to life in prison if convicted, were part of a plot by a right-wing militia extremist group known as the Wolverine Watchmen to abduct Whitmer in retribution for public health orders she imposed to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

In the new indictment, Fox, Croft and Harris were accused of planning to destroy a bridge near Whitmer’s vacation home in order to hinder the response by law enforcement.

The indictment also said that on Sept. 12, 2020, Fox and Croft stopped to inspect the underside of a highway bridge for a place to mount an explosive charge.

The next day, Fox ordered $4,000 worth of explosives for an undercover FBI agent posing as a co-conspirator, the indictment said. It added that about three weeks later, Fox and Harris made payments toward the explosives, the indictment said.

The new indictment also accused Croft and Harris of possessing a “destructive device” that was not registered as required by federal law. It said Harris also possessed an unregistered semiautomatic assault rifle.

Lawyers for the men were not immediately available for comment.

Eight other men who were accused of taking part in the kidnapping plot have been charged in Michigan state court with domestic terrorism and are also characterized by prosecutors as members or associates of the Wolverine Watchmen.

Garbin broke ranks with his co-defendants in January and pleaded guilty to a federal kidnapping conspiracy charge.

WMD charges added against men accused of plotting to kidnap Michigan governor

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