The Michigan Attorney General Charged Seven Additional Individuals Following a Coordinated Disruption of the Plan
The Department of Justice today announced that six men have been arrested and charged federally with conspiring to kidnap the Governor of Michigan, Gretchen Whitmer. According to a complaint filed Tuesday, October 6, 2020, Adam Fox, Barry Croft, Ty Garbin, Kaleb Franks, Daniel Harris and Brandon Caserta conspired to kidnap the Governor from her vacation home in the Western District of Michigan. Under federal law, each faces any term of years up to life in prison if convicted. Fox, Garbin, Franks, Harris, and Caserta are residents of Michigan. Croft is a resident of Delaware.
U.S. Attorney Birge said that “Federal and state law enforcement are committed to working together to make sure violent extremists never succeed with their plans, particularly when they target our duly elected leaders.”
The federal complaint in this case alleges that the FBI began an investigation earlier this year after becoming aware through social media that a group of individuals was discussing the violent overthrow of certain government and law enforcement components. Through confidential sources, undercover agents, and clandestine recordings, law enforcement learned particular individuals were planning to kidnap the Governor and acting in furtherance of that plan. This group used operational security measures, including communicating by encrypted messaging platforms and used code words and phrases in an attempt to avoid detection by law enforcement. On two occasions, members of the alleged conspiracy conducted coordinated surveillance on the Governor’s vacation home. Fox and Croft discussed detonating explosive devices to divert police from the area of the vacation home and Fox even inspected the underside of an M-31 highway bridge for places to seat an explosive, according to the complaint. Among other activities, the complaint alleges Fox purchased a taser for use in the kidnapping and that the group successfully detonated an improvised explosive device wrapped with shrapnel to test its anti-personnel capabilities. The FBI and Michigan State Police executed arrests as multiple conspirators met to pool funds for explosives and exchange tactical gear.
“All of us can disagree about politics, but those disagreements should never, ever result in violence,” stated U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider. “The allegations in this complaint are deeply disturbing. We owe our thanks to the men and women of law enforcement who uncovered this plot and have worked so hard to protect Governor Whitmer.”
“These alleged extremists undertook a plot to kidnap a sitting governor,” said Assistant Special Agent in Charge Josh P. Hauxhurst. “Whenever extremists move into the realm of actually planning violent acts, the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force stands ready to identify, disrupt and dismantle their operations, preventing them from following through on those plans.”
The investigation is ongoing. Agents of the Detroit Field Office of the FBI and other members of their Joint Terrorism Task Force, including the Michigan State Police, are conducting the investigation. FBI Agents and JTTF members in the Baltimore Field Office of the FBI, which covers Delaware, are also involved. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Michigan is prosecuting the federal charges. U.S. Attorney’s Offices in the Eastern District of Michigan and Delaware have assisted.
Based on information developed in the investigation, State of Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced the simultaneous arrest of seven other individuals on state charges of providing material support of terroristic activities and of possessing a firearm in the course of that offense.
The charges in a complaint are merely accusations, and a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law.
CONTINUATION OF A CRIMINAL COMPLAINT
I, Richard J. Trask II, being first duly sworn, hereby depose and state as follows:
1. I am a Special Agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and have
been since April 2011. As a Special Agent with the FBI, I have participated in, and conducted
numerous investigations under the Domestic Terrorism, Counterterrorism, and
Counterintelligence programs, to include espionage, terrorism, and domestic extremism
investigations. I have participated in and executed search warrants to seize items of evidence
from residences, telephone providers, and electronic devices, such as cell phones and computers.
2. The facts in this affidavit come from my personal observations, training,
experience, and information obtained from other agents and witnesses. This affidavit is intended
to show merely that there is sufficient probable cause to support the issuance of a criminal
complaint and does not set forth all of my knowledge about this matter.
3. The United States, including the FBI, is investigating a conspiracy to kidnap the
Governor of Michigan. 18 U.S.C. § 1201(c) makes it a felony to conspire to kidnap or abduct
any person and hold that person for ransom, reward, or otherwise, where the kidnapper or the
victim crosses a state boundary, or a means of interstate commerce (such as a cellular telephone
or the internet) is used in committing, or in furtherance of, the offense.
4. In the course of its investigation, the FBI relied on information provided by
Confidential Human Sources (CHS) and Undercover Employees (UCE) over several
months. Not all CHSs and UCEs were present at all times, however, at least one CHS or UCE
was usually present during the group meetings. Those CHSs and UCEs consensually recorded
the meetings and conversations with the subjects. Some meetings or conversations were
recorded by more than one CHS or UCE. Certain CHSs also had access to group or individual
texts, online chats, and phone calls. Each CHS was vetted for reliability by the FBI agent
handling the source. None of the CHSs were aware of the other CHSs involved with the groups
in order to preserve the independence of their reporting. Although multiple CHSs were used
over the course of the investigation, this complaint only relies on audio recordings and
information provided by CHS-1, CHS-2, UCE-1 and UCE-2.
5. The evidence set forth in this affidavit demonstrates probable cause to issue a
criminal complaint charging Adam FOX, Barry CROFT, Ty GARBIN, Kaleb FRANKS, Daniel
HARRIS, and Brandon CASERTA with conspiring to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen
Whitmer, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1201(c). FOX, GARBIN, FRANKS, HARRIS and
CASERTA are residents of Michigan, and CROFT is a resident of Delaware.
CONSPIRACY TO KIDNAP THE GOVERNOR OF MICHIGAN
6. In early 2020, the FBI became aware through social media that a group of
individuals were discussing the violent overthrow of certain government and law-enforcement
components. Among those individuals identified were CROFT and FOX. Through electronic
communications, CROFT and FOX agreed to unite others in their cause and take violent action
against multiple state governments that they believe are violating the U.S. Constitution.
Group Meeting in Ohio to Discuss the Operation
7. On June 6, 2020, CROFT, FOX and approximately 13 other people from several
states gathered in Dublin, Ohio. CHS-1 was present at this meeting.1 The group talked about
1 The FBI has paid CHS-1 approximately $8,600 to date for expenses. CHS-1 does not have a criminal
history and has been deemed reliable by the FBI. Information given by CHS-1 has been shown to be
reliable and corroborated through review of recordings and physical surveillance. That meeting was
recorded and provided to the FBI.
creating a society that followed the U.S. Bill of Rights and where they could be self-
sufficient. 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 members talked about murdering “tyrants” or “taking” a sitting
governor. The group decided they needed to increase their numbers and encouraged each other
to talk to their neighbors and spread their message. As part of that recruitment effort, FOX
reached out to a Michigan based militia group (the “militia group.”)
8. The militia group had already been brought to the attention of the FBI by a local
police department in March 2020, when members of the militia group were attempting to obtain
the addresses of local law-enforcement officers. At the time, the FBI interviewed a member of
the militia group who was concerned about the group’s plans to target and kill police officers,
and that person agreed to become a CHS.
Attempted Recruitment of the Militia Group and Others
9. As reported by CHS-2 and confirmed by the FBI, the militia group periodically
meets for field training exercises (“FTX”)2 on private property in remote areas of Michigan,
where they engage in firearms training and tactical drills.3 CHS-2 told the FBI that, at a FTX on
June 14, 2020, one of the founders of the militia group said he had been introduced to FOX.
2 The individuals identified in this affidavit often refer to a “field training exercise” as an “FTX” and, as
such, the same is done in this affidavit.
3 The FBI has paid CHS-2 approximately $14,800 to date, for reporting and expenses. CHS-2 does not
have a criminal history and has been deemed reliable by the FBI. Information given by CHS-2 has been
shown to be reliable and corroborated through review of recordings and physical surveillance. CHS-2 also
consensually recorded certain meetings and provided those recordings to the FBI.
During that exercise, the militia group leadership had a call with FOX, who invited them to meet
at his business in Grand Rapids, Michigan, later in the week.
10. FOX, in coordination with CROFT, met with members of the militia group at
various times in June 2020. During one such meeting on June 18, 2020, which was audio
recorded by CHS-2, FOX, militia group leadership, including Michigan resident Ty GARBIN,
and CHS-2 met at a Second Amendment rally at the State Capitol in Lansing, Michigan. In an
effort to recruit more members for the operation, FOX told GARBIN and CHS-2 he planned to
attack the Capitol and asked them to combine forces.
The Operation Focuses on Governor Whitmer
11. As previously discussed, the FBI was able to monitor much of the activity
between FOX and others through the use of CHSs. On June 14, 2020, CHS-2 participated in a
consensually recorded telephone call with FOX, who described the meeting in Dublin, Ohio.
FOX said he needed “200 men” to storm the Capitol building in Lansing, Michigan, and take
hostages, including the Governor. FOX explained they would try the Governor of Michigan for
“treason,” and he said they would execute the plan before the November 2020 elections.
12. On June 20, 2020, FOX, GARBIN, and several other individuals, including CHS-
2, met at FOX’s business in Grand Rapids. As part of FOX’s operational security, the attendees
met in the basement of the shop, which was accessed through a trap door hidden under a rug on
the main floor. FOX collected all of their cellular phones in a box and carried them upstairs to
prevent any monitoring. CHS-2 was wearing a recording device, however, and captured the
audio from the meeting. The attendees discussed plans for assaulting the Michigan State Capitol,
countering law enforcement first responders, and using “Molotov cocktails” to destroy police
vehicles. The attendees also discussed plans for an additional meeting during the first weekend
of July when they also would conduct firearms and tactical training.
13. On June 25, 2020, FOX live-streamed a video to a private Facebook group that
included CHS-2, in which he complained about the judicial system and the State of Michigan
controlling the opening of gyms. FOX referred to Governor Whitmer as “this tyrant bitch,” and
stated, “I don’t know, boys, we gotta do something. You guys link with me on our other location
system, give me some ideas of what we can do.” The video was preserved by the FBI.
Training and Planning to Kidnap the Michigan Governor
14. On June 28, 2020, FOX, FOX’s girlfriend, GARBIN, Michigan resident Kaleb
FRANKS, Michigan resident Brandon CASERTA, and CHS-2 attended a tactical training
exercise at the Munith, Michigan, residence of a militia-group member. After the training,
FRANKS left the residence. Other people, including FOX, GARBIN, CASERTA, and CHS-2
remained at the residence and were told to leave if they were not willing to participate in attacks
against the government and in kidnapping politicians. FOX, GARBIN, CASERTA, and CHS-2
stayed for the rest of the meeting. FRANKS left before the end of the night, though his departure
does not appear to be related to FRANKS’ commitment to the conspiracy.
4 On July 7, 2020, FRANKS attended a meeting at the residence of another militia group member, and
CHS-2 was in attendance. FRANKS said that he was “not cool with offensive kidnapping” and added that
he was “just there for training,” or words to that effect. After the meeting, however, FRANKS actively
continued to participate in the kidnapping plot, as further described below.
15. Over the weekend of July 10-12, 2020, FOX, CROFT, GARBIN, FRANKS,
CASERTA, CHS-2, and others attended a FTX in Cambria, Wisconsin. Attendees participated in
firearms training and other combat drills. On July 11, at the exercise, CROFT and a member of
the militia group attempted to construct an improvised explosive device (“IED”), using black
powder, balloons, a fuse, and BBs for shrapnel. CROFT, GARBIN and the militia group member
attempted to make a second IED using similar components. The construction of the devices was
faulty, and they did not detonate as planned. CHS-2 provided FBI with video of the event.
FRANKS also brought and fired a rifle with a silencer at the exercise. Attendees shared photos
and video recordings of the exercise in Facebook discussions that included CHS-2.
16. On July 18, 2020, GARBIN, FOX, CROFT, HARRIS, FRANKS, CHS-2, and
other individuals met in Ohio. CHS-2 provided the FBI with an audio recording of the meeting.
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 (“the vacation home.”) The same day, GARBIN told
CHS-2 and others that he did not want to go after the Capitol. He said he was “cool” with going
after the Governor’s vacation home, however, even if it only resulted in destruction of property.
17. On July 27, 2020, CHS-2 met FOX at his business in Grand Rapids. CHS-2
provided the FBI with an audio recording of the meeting. FOX said their best opportunity to
abduct Governor Whitmer would be when she was arriving at, or leaving, either her personal
vacation home or the Governor’s official summer residence. Both residences are located in the
Western District of Michigan. FOX described it as a “Snatch and grab, man. Grab the fuckin’
Governor. Just grab the bitch. Because at that point, we do that, dude — it’s over.” FOX said that
after kidnapping the Governor, the group would remove her to a secure location in Wisconsin for
“trial.” FOX suggested they get a realtor to help them find the exact location of the vacation
home and collect information on the surrounding homes and structures. FOX discussed the
importance of knowing the layout of the yard, homes, and security. FOX stated they needed to
map out the surrounding property and gates, and they needed plumbers and electricians to help
them read blueprints to refine their strategy. FOX also suggested recruiting an engineer or “IT
[Information Technology] guy,” a “demo guy,” and other “operators.”
18. On July 27, 2020 FOX asked in an encrypted group chat, which included
GARBIN, HARRIS, FRANKS and CHS-2, “OK, well how’s everyone feel about kidnapping?”
No one responded to the question.
19. On July 28, 2020, FOX told CHS-2 over the phone that he had narrowed down his
attack targets to the vacation home and the summer residence. The call was not recorded. The
same day, FOX posted the following to a private Facebook page: “We about to be busy ladies
and gentlemen . . . This is where the Patriot shows up. Sacrifices his time, money, blood sweat
and tears . . . it starts now so get fucking prepared!!”
20. On August 9, 2020, FOX, GARBIN, HARRIS, FRANKS, and CHS-2
participated in a tactical training in Munith, Michigan. CHS-2 provided the FBI with an audio
recording of the training. FOX asked the group about kidnapping Governor Whitmer. According
to CHS-2, GARBIN initially expressed reluctance to talk about the plan in that setting. After the
training, FOX, CHS-2, and others participated in a group call that was recorded by CHS-2. FOX
suggested another member of the militia group could gather information about Governor
Whitmer’s primary residence in Lansing, and FOX discussed destroying the Governor’s boat.
After the call, FOX, FRANKS, GARBIN, HARRIS, and CHS-2 communicated in an encrypted
group chat. In that chat, HARRIS stated, “Have one person go to her house. Knock on the door
and when she answers it just cap her . . . at this point. Fuck it.” He added, “I mean . . . fuck, catch
her walking into the building and act like a passers-by and fixing dome her then yourself
whoever does it.” (sic). In a follow-up chat about the plan, FRANKS told CHS-2, “OK sounds
good I’m in for anything as long as its well planned.”
21. On August 18, 2020, in an encrypted group chat that included FOX, HARRIS,
GARBIN, FRANKS, CHS-2, and others, FRANKS expressed interest in taking part in a
surveillance of the vacation home. In an effort to locate the Governor’s vacation home, one of
the members named specific cities where it could be located and told the group to check these
cities. In a private chat later on August 18, 2020, the same person told CHS-2 the name of the
lake in northern Michigan where the vacation home is located, and he said he was looking for an
escape route using a boat on the lake.
The Group Uses Operational Security Measures to Avoid Detection
22. The conspirators often communicate via encrypted online platforms and use “code
words” or phrases to describe their plans in a self-proclaimed effort to avoid law-enforcement
detection. For example, on July 24, 2020, CHS-2 and GARBIN contacted FOX by telephone.
The call was recorded by CHS-2. FOX said he had researched the Governor’s office online, and
he believed that the Governor kept only a ceremonial office in Lansing. FOX wondered aloud
whether the group just needed to “party it out, make a cake and send it,” in what CHS-2 believed
was a coded reference to sending a bomb to the Governor. FOX discussed the need to train for
the next three months to be ready to engage. FOX stated, “In all honesty right now . . . I just
wanna make the world glow, dude. I’m not even fuckin’ kidding. I just wanna make it all glow
dude. I don’t fuckin’ care anymore, I’m just so sick of it. That’s what it’s gonna take for us to
take it back, we’re just gonna have to everything’s gonna have to be annihilated man. We’re
gonna topple it all, dude. It’s what great frickin’ conquerors, man, we’re just gonna conquer
every fuckin’ thing man.” FOX and GARBIN further discussed the need for the government to
collapse because it has become so tyrannical.
23. On July 26, 2020, FOX told CHS-2 that he had not heard back from the “baker,”
which the CHS understood to mean an explosives manufacturer. FOX told the CHS that he
thought it might be better to focus on the vacation home and summer residence as potential
targets. FOX also said, “Maybe we should just make a bunch of cupcakes and send them out,” in
an apparent reference to a more widespread bombing campaign. CHS-2 understood these code
words and phrases because the group often used such language when talking about explosives.
24. On August 23, 2020, GARBIN, HARRIS, FRANKS, CASERTA, CHS-2, and
three other individuals met at HARRIS’s residence in Lake Orion, Michigan. CHS-2 provided
FBI with an audio recording of the meeting. The group had discussed concerns about being
infiltrated by law enforcement, and all attendees were required to bring personal documents to
confirm their identities. During the meeting, CASERTA asked FRANKS, “Franks, where you
at?” FRANKS responded, “Same place. I’m ready to get it on. Doesn’t matter. It could be
‘cause somebody looked at us wrong.” CHS-2, referring to FOX, stated, “He is all about fuckin’
killin’ her.” CASERTA responded, “God. Go on someone’s property and stuff like that. I would
rather not scare them. Especially if it’s a fuckin’ political parasite. The world would be better
without that person, I’ll say that.” CHS-2 explained that was why FOX wanted to do “recon” for
the plan. The group discussed surveilling the vacation home in preparation for attacks on the
Governor, and FRANKS advised he had recently spent almost $4,000 on a helmet and night-
vision goggles. To address their concerns about law-enforcement infiltration, the attendees
agreed to move their group chat to a different encrypted messaging application. Because the
group still included CHS-2, the FBI has maintained the ability to consensually monitor the chat
The Conspirators Conduct Surveillance of the Governor’s Home on Two Occasions
Daytime Surveillance on August 29, 2020
25. On August 29, 2020, FOX, CHS-2, and another individual conducted surveillance
of the vacation home. CHS-2 provided FBI with an audio recording of the operation. FOX used
his cell phone to attempt to locate the residence, but initially they had trouble finding it. He
contacted a friend who had assisted them in the past; the friend told him where the vacation
home was located and sent pictures of the home from the internet. FOX and the other individual
located the vacation home, took photographs and slow-motion video from their vehicle as they
drove by it, and discussed conducting additional surveillance from the water at a later date. The
other individual then looked up the locations of the local police department and Michigan State
Police in the area, and used them to estimate how long it would take law enforcement to respond
to an incident at the vacation home. During the surveillance operation, FOX said, “We ain’t
gonna let ‘em burn our fuckin’ state down. I don’t give a fuck if there’s only 20 or 30 of us,
dude, we’ll go out there and use deadly force.”
26. On August 30, 2020, FOX shared photos from his surveillance trip to the
encrypted chat group, which included FRANKS, HARRIS, GARBIN and CHS-2. GARBIN
offered to paint his personal boat black to support the surveillance of the vacation home from the
lake where the vacation home is situated. In a text message conversation the same day, GARBIN
asked CHS-2 how the surveillance trip had gone. CHS-2 shared a screenshot of a map of the
area, which happened to show a bridge in the vicinity. Using symbols and emoticons, GARBIN
replied “If the 🌉🌉 go 👇👇, it also ❌ the 🌊🌊,” suggesting demolition of the bridge would hinder a
police response. CHS-2 provided the FBI with an image of a hand-drawn map of the lake near
the vacation home with the mileage of the nearest police departments and the estimated response
time. CHS-2 provided FBI with a picture of FOX drawing that map.
Nighttime Surveillance on September 12-13, 2020
27. Over the weekend of September 12-13, 2020, FOX, CROFT, GARBIN,
FRANKS, HARRIS, CASERTA, CHS-2, a UCE, and another individual attended a FTX at
GARBIN’s property in Luther, Michigan. The location is approximately an hour and a half from
the vacation home. CHS-2 and the UCE audio recorded the meetings and exercise. CROFT
brought what he referred to as his “chemistry set,” which included components for an IED.
According to CHS-2, CROFT constructed an IED by removing the cap from a commercial
firework, adding additional black powder, and wrapping the device in pennies and electrical tape
as shrapnel. During the exercise, the group set the device in a clearing surrounded by human
silhouette targets, and CROFT detonated it to test its anti-personnel effectiveness.
28. At the exercise, FOX took aside CROFT, GARBIN, FRANKS, CASERTA, CHS-
2, two UCEs, and four other people. FOX briefed them on the plan to kidnap Governor
Whitmer, and he told them about his first surveillance of the property. FOX selected CROFT,
GARBIN, FRANKS, the CHS, the UCEs, and the four other people, to conduct a nighttime
surveillance of the vacation home in preparation for the kidnapping. HARRIS, CASERTA, and
another individual remained at the camp in Luther. HARRIS became aware of the surveillance
the next day, and he expressed regret that he had not participated in the surveillance operation.
29. On September 12, 2020, while driving from GARBIN’s property to Cadillac to
bring others to the property, FOX told CHS-2 and another individual that the vacation home is
the Governor’s actual house, “And it’s a perfect fuckin’ setup. Out of everywhere that she
resides, this is the only one that’s probably actually feasible with a success rate.” That
conversation was recorded by CHS-2.
30. During the late night of September 12 and early morning of September 13, the
group drove from Luther to the vicinity of the vacation home in three separate vehicles. CHS-2
and the UCEs audio recorded the operation. Before leaving Luther, CROFT asked FOX if the
surveillance participants were armed. FOX confirmed that they were, and CROFT suggested
they take the opportunity to conduct an act of violence that night. CROFT was eventually
dissuaded of this notion and decided to wait for a better time.
31. FOX, CROFT, CHS-2, a UCE, and an individual from Wisconsin traveled in the
first vehicle. While in the vehicle, CROFT and FOX discussed detonating explosive devices to
divert police from the area of the vacation home. They stopped at the M-31 highway bridge on
the way, where FOX and the UCE inspected the underside of the bridge for places to seat an
explosive charge. FOX took a picture of the bridge’s support structure, which he later shared
with CHS-2 in their encrypted chat. From there, they drove to a public boat launch across the
lake from the vacation home to watch for the other cars in their group.
32. GARBIN, FRANKS, and another individual from Wisconsin traveled in the
second vehicle to the vicinity of the vacation home. A digital dash camera was mounted in the
vehicle and was activated to record the surveillance for later reference, which footage was later
shared with CHS-2, who provided it to the FBI. External-facing video footage from the camera
shows what the conspirators observed of the Governor’s neighborhood, while the internal-facing
footage captured GARBIN, FRANKS, and the other member inside the vehicle on the way to the
vacation home. A review of the dash camera footage revealed GPS data indicating that the
vehicle was located in close proximity to the vacation home next to the lake. When the second
vehicle arrived, the team contacted FOX, who was located in the first vehicle, to determine if
they could see each other’s lights across the lake. GARBIN asked the first vehicle, “Can you see
my light?” CROFT asked the second vehicle, “You got our guys?” CHS-2 replied, “We got
33. Two of the other individuals and a UCE drove to the lake in the third vehicle.
They were tasked by FOX to drive around and make sure no one was following or surveilling the
34. During the surveillance operation, FOX stated, “She fucking goddamn loves the
power she has right now” and that “she has no checks and balances at all. She has uncontrolled
power right now.” CROFT stated, “All good things must come to an end.” FOX also remarked
“I can see several states takin’ their fuckin’ tyrants. Everybody takes their tyrants.” The group
also discussed how many people should be involved in the kidnapping operation.
35. During the ride back to GARBIN’s property, FRANKS stated “We’re doin’ all
the reconnaissance work, so it should go smooth.” After arriving back at GARBIN’s property,
CHS-2 asked, “Everybody down with what’s going on?” and someone stated, “If you’re not
down with the thought of kidnapping, don’t sit here.” GARBIN replied, “Oh no, we’re not
kidnapping, that’s not what we’re doing,” which sparked general laughter. Amidst the laughter,
another voice said, “No children!” and a voice added, “We’re adult napping.” FRANKS stated,
“Kidnapping, arson, death. I don’t care.” The group then started discussing destroying the
The Conspirators Begin Finalizing Plans to Kidnap Governor Whitmer
36. On the morning of September 13, 2020, the group reconvened at GARBIN’s
property in Luther, Michigan. FOX gathered CROFT, GARBIN, FRANKS, HARRIS,
CASERTA, CHS-2, the UCEs and two other individuals. CHS-2 recorded the discussion. FOX
confirmed with the members that they were the group that was going to kidnap Governor
Whitmer. An FBI UCE told FOX that it will cost approximately $4,000 to procure the explosives
that FOX and CROFT want to use, to blow up the bridge leading to the vacation home. FOX
later shared that information with the group. The group agreed to conduct a final training
exercise in late October.
37. On September 14, 2020, FOX posted in the group’s encrypted chat that he did not
want the exercise to be the last week in October because it would leave insufficient time to
execute the kidnapping before the national election on November 3, 2020. The group agreed to
use the time until the final training exercise to raise money for explosives and other supplies.
38. On September 17, 2020, on an encrypted group chat that included FOX,
GARBIN, FRANKS, HARRIS, CASERTA, CHS-2, and others, FOX asked the group what it
thought of a militia group invitation to participate in an armed protest at the State Capitol.
GARBIN replied, “I would highly advise minimizing any communication with him. Also there
needs to be zero and i mean zero public interaction if we want to continue with our plans.”
CASERTA replied, “When the time comes there will be no need to try and strike fear through
presence. The fear will be manifested through bullets.” FOX responded, “Copy that boys, loud
39. On September 30, 2020, FOX called CHS-2 on the phone and CHS-2 recorded
the conversation. During the call, FOX discussed purchasing a taser for use in the kidnapping
operation. FOX also told CHS-2 that CROFT, GARBIN, HARRIS, FRANKS, CASERTA, and
others were aware of the $4,000 cost. On October 2, 2020, FOX confirmed he purchased an
800,000 volt taser in an encrypted chat message with CHS-2.
40. FBI’s review of recent encrypted group chats indicates that, in preparation for
their plan to kidnap Governor Whitmer, FOX, GARBIN, HARRIS, and FRANKS plan to meet
with a UCE on October 7, 2020, to make a payment on explosives and exchange tactical gear.
CASERTA said he could not attend because he will be at work. CROFT has returned to
Delaware and is not available for this exchange.
41. On several occasions, FOX has expressed his intention and desire to kidnap
Governor Whitmer before November, 3, 2020, the date of the national election.