Six people plotted to try to kidnap Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer at her vacation home, according to a criminal complaint unsealed in federal court.
The FBI quoted one of the accused as saying Whitmer “has no checks and balances at all. She has uncontrolled power right now. All good things must come to an end.”
In recent weeks, the state-owned Michigan governor’s residence received security upgrades, including the construction of a new perimeter fence, The Detroit News reported.
The conspiracy described by the FBI involved at least six people, including Ty Garbin, 24, whose home was raided by agents in Hartland Township late Wednesday. The other five individuals are listed as Adam Fox, Barry Croft, Garbin, Kaleb Franks, Daniel Harris and Brandon Caserta.
The investigation began in early 2020, when the FBI learned through social media that they were planning a violent overthrow of several state governments and law enforcement.
“Several members talked about murdering ‘tyrants’ or ‘taking’ a sitting governor,” an FBI agent wrote in the affidavit. “The group decided they needed to increase their numbers and encouraged each other to talk to their neighbors and spread their message.”
In June meeting, where a FBI confidential source who recorded the meeting, Croft, several of the plotters held a meeting in Dublin, Ohio, near Columbus, according to the government.
“The group talked about creating a society that followed the U.S. Bill of Rights and where they could be self-sufficient,” the FBI agent wrote. “They discussed different ways of achieving this goal from peaceful endeavors to violent actions. At one point, several members talked about state governments they believed were violating the U.S. Constitution, including the government of Michigan and Governor Gretchen Whitmer.
“As part of that recruitment effort, Fox reached out to a Michigan-based militia group,” the agent added.
The FBI had been tracking the tracking the militia in March, and the FBI recruited a person who agreed to become a confidential source.
A press conference is scheduled at 1 p.m. to announce “details of a major operation” and criminal charges.