United States attorneys in Michigan charged six individuals on Thursday with an alleged plot to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) and overthrow the state’s government.
The feds have charged Adam Fox, Barry Croft, Ty Garbin, Kaleb Franks, Daniel Harris, and Brandon Caserta, the Detroit News reported. Twelve individuals were charged in all.
Via the News:
The investigation dates to early 2020 when the FBI learned through social media that individuals were discussing the violent overthrow of several state governments and law enforcement.
In June, Croft, Fox and 13 others from multiple states held a meeting in Dublin, Ohio, near Columbus, according to the government.
“Several members talked about murdering ‘tyrants’ or ‘taking’ a sitting governor,” an FBI agent wrote in an affidavit unsealed on Thursday. “The group decided they needed to increase their numbers and encouraged each other to talk to their neighbors and spread their message.”
“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, according to the paper.
“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.”
Several media outlets, including the New York Times and the UK Daily Mail have attempted to cast the individuals as “right-wing” and “Trump supporters,” but at least one suspect, Brandon Caserta, held views more nuanced than that.
Breitbart News reviewed Caserta’s Facebook profile shortly before it was deleted.
In several YouTube videos, Caserta opined about rights and the illegitimacy of government.
“The Constitution is illegitimate,” he said in one posted on May 16, 2020, which was removed after Caserta’s account was terminated.
“Authority doesn’t exist, dude,” Caserta said, seated in front of an anarchist flag, “and, like, the law doesn’t exist.”
In another video, Caserta walked around his apartment with a camera and wondered, “How do I really know if I suck?”
Other videos, including some Breitbart News reviewed on Caserta’s Facebook page prior to deletion, the suspect criticized the police, calling them “obedient order-followers.”
One video was captured by Twitter user Robby Starbuck:
This is a video of Brandon Caserta, one of the ringleaders of the group of men arrested for a plot where the group planned to kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer. Caserta has an anarchist flag behind him and in YouTube videos trashes police. He’s not a Republican, he’s an anarchist. pic.twitter.com/J1vE2qGYL7
— Robby Starbuck (@robbystarbuck) October 8, 2020
In none of the videos did Caserta express support for Trump explicitly or otherwise.
They have all been removed from YouTube.
According to the charging document, Garbin, Fox, Croft, Harris, Franks, and others met in July in Ohio to discuss their plot.
“The attendees discussed attacking a Michigan State Police facility, and in a separate conversation after the meeting, GARBIN suggested shooting up the Governor’s vacation home, which is located in the Western District of Michigan” in Antrim County.
The suspects allegedly nixed attempting to abduct the governor from the state capitol, where the governor seldom is.
Nine days later, the alleged conspirators proposed seizing Whitmer from the governor’s official summer residence on Mackinac Island, a popular tourist attraction in northern Michigan.
“Snatch and grab, man. Grab the fuckin’ Governor. Just grab the bitch. Because at that point, we do that, dude — it’s over,” Fox allegedly said, according to the document.
From there, they proposed transporting Whitmer to Wisconsin to conduct a “trial.”
Fox, Croft, Garbin, Franks, Harris, and Caserta were charged with Conspiracy to Commit Kidnapping, which carries a sentence of up to life in prison.
Kyle Olson is a reporter for Breitbart News. He is also host of “The Kyle Olson Show,” syndicated on Michigan radio stations on Saturdays. Listen to segments on YouTube or download full podcast episodes. Follow him on Twitter, like him on Facebook, and follow him on Parler.