GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Three of the 14 men accused of plotting to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer now face an additional federal charge.
A federal grand jury on Wednesday indicted Barry Croft Jr., Adam Fox and Daniel Harris on a count each of conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction. It’s a charge that carries a penalty of up to life in prison.
Federal prosecutor allege they meant to use homemade bombs containing shrapnel to kidnap Whitmer and against law enforcement. They say the men tested out those bombs and that Fox and Croft even looked at a highway overpass to see where they could place one.
Croft and Harris also face additional felony firearms charges — Croft one count and Harris two counts. The charge is punishable by up to 10 years in prison. The share count is for possession of an unregistered destructive device and the Harris’ second is for possession of an unregistered short-barreled rifle.
Croft, 45, of Delaware; Fox, 40, of Grand Rapids; and Harris, 23, of Lake Orion are among six people who face federal charges and 14 suspects overall accused in the plot, which investigators broke up in October.
Authorities say the suspects, antigovernment extremists and members of a militia called the Wolverine Watchmen, were angry about executive orders Whitmer, a Democrat, had issued to mitigate the spread of coronavirus because they believed she was overstepping her authority.
The FBI says the men allegedly scoped out her vacation home in Antrim County, trained in a “kill house,” bought a Taser to use in the abduction and tried to buy explosives and tactical gear from undercover agents — at which point they were arrested.
One of those facing federal charges, Ty Garbin, 25, of Hartland, has already pleaded guilty. He and the other five men charged at the federal level are accused of conspiracy to commit kidnapping, which carries a sentence of up to life in prison.