JACKSON, Mich. – New evidence in the domestic terrorism plot to kidnap or kill Gov. Gretchen Whitmer came out in court Wednesday.
State prosecutors said they have the evidence that Pete Musico, his son-in-law Joseph Morrison and Paul Bellar not only formed the Wolverine Watchmen group, but used social media to recruit other members who were anti-government and called Whitmer a tyrant.
The men believed they were texting in secret on an application called Wire. The FBI said they would express violent thoughts and threats through the app.
An FBI informant was capturing all of their communications.
In early 2020, the FBI hadn’t even heard of the Wolverine Watchmen until one of the men created a Facebook group and that the hatred toward Whitmer became so intense, they had to alert her security team at the very beginning of the investigation.
A lot of what was revealed came from an FBI informant.
According to the FBI, a veteran who worked for the Postal Service in Flint heard a lot from the men who are charged and went to the FBI, but that’s he wanted to do until the FBI convinced him to risk his life and infiltrate the group.
“Not only did they hate law enforcement, they were talking steps to get addresses to target and kill them later,” said FBI Special Agent Henrick Impola.
The man wanted out, but the FBI asked him to stay with the Wolverine Watchmen, wear a wire, record everything and risk his life.
Musico, Morrison and Bellar are charged with providing material to support terrorist acts.
The FBI said they men trained on Musico’s property in Munith and set deadly traps in case the police raided it.
Defense attorneys said it was all talk, but Ty Garbin plead guilty and has agreed to testify against all of them in connection with the plot to kidnap or kill Whitmer.