Two Convicted in Whitmer Kidnapping Trial

After the first trial ended in a mistrial, a federal jury on Tuesday found two men guilty of conspiring to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in 2020.

Adam Fox and Barry Croft face a maximum sentence of life in prison for the kidnapping conspiracy conviction. They were also convicted of one count of conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction. Croft faced an additional count of possession of an unregistered destructive device.

Two other men, Brandon Caserta and Daniel Harris, were acquitted in the first trial. Two other co-defendants that pleaded guilty before the first trial, Ty Garbin and Kaleb Franks, testified in both trials.

Prosecutors allege Fox was the ringleader of the group, and Croft was practicing detonating bombs in preparation for the kidnapping.

David Porter, assistant special agent in charge with the FBI Detroit Field Office, said the verdict is a “clear example” that anti-government views do not justify violence.

“Here in America, if you disagree with your government, you have options. You can criticize your government, you can protest, you can vote your elected officials out of office,” Porter told reporters outside the courthouse. “However, what you cannot do is plan or commit acts of violence. Violence is never the answer.”

Defense attorneys for the two convicted men said throughout both trials that the men were entrapped by an FBI informant named “Big Dan,” who coaxed them to participate in a plot they would not have otherwise become involved in.

CNN, Daily Beast, Detroit Free Press