FBI thwarts militia plot to kidnap Michigan governor

A plot by a militia group that talked about murdering tyrants and kidnapping Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was thwarted by the FBI, investigators said.

“The group talked about creating a society that followed the U.S. Bill of Rights and where they could be self-sufficient,” investigators wrote in a federal affidavit filed Thursday, The Detroit News reported. “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 Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.”

On Wednesday, FBI agents raided the home of Ty Garbin as part of the investigation that began earlier this year.

Investigators said the plot involved at least six people who discussed a violent overthrow of the government on social media. The group, which included a confidential source working with the FBI, met in June in Ohio. The source working with the FBI was paid $8,600.

“Several members talked about murdering ‘tyrants’ or ‘taking’ a sitting governor,” according to the affidavit. “The group decided they needed to increase their numbers and encouraged each other to talk to their neighbors and spread their message.”

They sought to kidnap Whitmer from her vacation home sometime before the November election, investigators said.

Attorney General Dana Nessel identified the militia group as the Wolverine Watchmen during a Thursday news conference. She said at least 13 people have been arrested and charged. Some of those arrests include Garbin, Adam Fox, Barry Croft, Kalen Franks, Daniel Harris and Brandon Caserta.

Michigan Sen. Mike Shirkey condemned the plot.

“A threat against our Governor is a threat against us all,” he said on social media. “We condemn those who plotted against her and our government. They are not patriots. There is no honor in their actions. They are criminals and traitors, and they should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

Whitmer has not commented on the investigation but has planned a news conference at 3 p.m.