Federal grand jury indicts 6 in terrorist plot to kidnap Gov. Whitmer

Grand jury indictment claims man gave co-conspirators message to kill police if necessary

6 men indicted by federal grand jury in plot to kidnap Gov. Whitmer
6 men indicted by federal grand jury in plot to kidnap Gov. Whitmer

LANSING, Mich.A federal grand jury indicted six men in the domestic terrorist plot to kidnap or kill Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Investigators said the six men involved in the plot allegedly were part of a group called the Wolverine Watchmen, who were angry about Michigan’s stay-at-home orders.

The grand jury found there is enough evidence to put them on trial.

The indictment reads, in part:

Alleged ringleader Adam Fox, Ty Garbin, Kaleb Franks, Daniel Harris and Brandon Caserta are facing federal charges.

Over summer, Caserta was stopped by police for not having up-to-date insurance. Court documents claim Caserta was enraged and told the group he could find and kill the officers that pulled him over.

Related: Domestic terror plot leader wanted to leave Whitmer on boat in middle of Lake Michigan, FBI says

Court documents said Caserta made a video message for the group in October as they were suspected of suvielling Whitmer’s summer home.

“If they encountered police during a reconnaissance, they should give the officers one opportunity to leave and kill them if they did not comply,” Caserta reportedly said in the video.

That day, federal officers moved in and arrested members of the group in Ypsilanti. Sources said the FBI believed its informant inside the group had been compromised and it was time to make arrests.

The group had allegedly stated they wanted to make their move on Whitmer before the Nov. 3 Election Day.

The indictment points to the lengths the Wolverine Watchmen went to carry out their plot including field training exercises with combat tactics including:

  • Assaulting motor vehicles using assault rifles and live ammunition
  • Attempting to detonate two improvised explosive devices
  • Detonating an explosive device containing shrapnel near human silhouette targets hung by the conspirators to assess its effectiveness

Read more: ‘Crackpots’: How attorneys plan to defend Michigan men accused in Gov. Whitmer kidnapping plot

Here’s a look at the full indictment filed Dec. 16, 2020:



Extradition delayed for Wisconsin man charged in kidnap plot

A Wisconsin man accused the plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer should be extradited to Michigan, but he will be given a chance to appeal first, a judge ruled.

Brian Higgins was allegedly part of a crew conducting surveillance of the governor’s vacation home for the kidnapping plot. He is charged with material support of an act of terrorism.

The Wisconsin Dells man, 52, is jailed in Columbia County until the appeal of his extradition is decided.

In October, Higgins became the 14th person in connection with the alleged domestic terror plot targeting Whitmer.

Read more here.


About the Authors:

Shawn Ley is an Emmy-Award winning reporter. In more than 20 years covering stories in television news, Shawn’s reporting has taken him from war-torn eastern Europe, to reporting from an F-16 fighter jet and now to the fast and furious breaking news of Detroit.

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.