Top leaders in plot to kidnap Whitmer sentenced to prison

Barry Croft and Adam Fox were sentenced on charges of kidnapping conspiracy and conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction

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click to enlarge Adam Fox (left) and Barry Croft were convicted of plotting to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. - Kent County Sheriff's Office
Kent County Sheriff's Office
Adam Fox (left) and Barry Croft were convicted of plotting to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

A federal judge on Wednesday sentenced the co-leader of a plot to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to 19.6 years in prison and five years of supervised release.

Barry Croft, 47, had faced up to life in prison.

After an 11-day jury trial, Croft and his co-defendant Adam Fox were convicted of kidnapping conspiracy and conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction in August.

On Tuesday, Fox was sentenced to 16 years in prison.

Six people were originally charged on the federal level with crimes related to the kidnapping plot.

In April, co-defendants Daniel Harris and Brandon Caserta were acquitted on related charges.

Two others, Ty Garbin and Kaleb Franks, pleaded guilty and testified against Fox and Croft as part of a plea agreement. Garbin was sentenced to 75 months, but a judge reduced the sentence to 30 months in September. Franks received a 4-year prison sentence.

The six men were arrested in October 2020 and accused of hatching a plan to kidnap Whitmer from her vacation cottage near Elk Rapids and detonate a bomb under an interstate overpass to hinder law enforcement.

Their ultimate goal was to trigger a civil war, prosecutors said.

They were angry about Whitmer’s mandates to stop the spread of COVID-19.

To train for the kidnapping, the group built a makeshift house to resemble the governor’s vacation home in northern Michigan. They also had weapons and kidnapping supplies, like guns and a hood to cover Whitmer's head.

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About The Author

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling is an award-winning investigative journalist who operated Motor City Muckraker, an online news site devoted to exposing abuses of power and holding public officials accountable. Neavling also hosted Muckraker Report on 910AM from September 2017 to July 2018. Before launching Motor City Muckraker,...
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