LANSING, Mich. – Local 4 Defenders collected new, never-before-seen evidence against the 14 men accused of the terrorist plot to kidnap and possibly kill Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
Video shows one Wolverine Watchmen member show off his weapons -- including suppressors or silencers, and a locker packed with firearms.
Another member, Brandon Caserta of Canton, is seen showing off a 800,000-volt electroshock weapon that federal investigators said he wanted to use on Whitmer.
The Local 4 Defenders also obtained photos of the group surveilling Whitmer’s up-north home and hand-drawn maps of the area around her vacation home.
A member of the group was placed by the FBI after someone contacted authorities about the group wanting to get addresses of police officers to allegedly hunt and kill them. He secretly recorded the group planning the terrorist plot.
Additionally, the FBI had a second man -- a veteran working for the FBI -- who also joined the group. Sources said he was skilled in tactical training and is a firearms expert. The FBI paid him to help the men train, to drive them to planning meetings in Ohio and Wisconsin and even paid for food.
Some of the men charged, like Kaleb Franks of Waterford, are expected to argue that the man planted in the group by the FBI was the driving force behind the plot.
The group communicated to each other in code on encrypted apps. Screenshots of these conversations have been released Friday.
Screenshots show someone directly state that someone should shoot Whitmer, but there are no specifics about the plot or the plans to violently storm the Capitol Building.
Attorneys will argue that this is just talk and that’s not illegal.
Another screenshot shows Franks comment “OK, sounds good. I’m in for anything as well as it’s well-planned.”
Sources said it’s questionable if the entire group was going to put the plot into action. However, multiple sources have said that Barry Croft, from Delaware, is considered to be a great danger -- not just in Michigan, but across the country.
An FBI affidavit for a search warrant to track Croft by his many Facebook account labels him as a “true believer” who allegedly wanted to murder government officials in multiple states.
Sources claim Croft is a part of the anti-government paramilitary group “The Three Percenters” and would host meetings at the Drury Inn in Dublin, Ohio.
According to the Anti-Defamation League, Three Percenters -- despite being anti-government -- have not been very active in opposing the federal government, but directs its frustration at other groups, including people of color and people with left-wing political views.
Court documents show the men talked about who they believed were tyrants during COVID-19 stay-at-home orders and Fox agreed to return to Michigan to recruit more members.
The goal was allegedly to assemble 200 men to storm the Michigan Capitol Building and take hostages -- including Whitmer.
The affidavit indicates that Croft not only wanted to go after Whitmer, but other governors across the country. He allegedly posted on Facebook “The lock-up your governor challenge. Which of the beautiful colonies is going to be the first to snatch a criminal bastard?”