He agreed to testify for the prosecution at the federal trial.
A second man charged with a bizarre plot to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer pleaded guilty on Wednesday and agreed to testify for the prosecution at the federal trial of four other defendants.
Kaleb Franks, 27, of Waterford, Michigan, admitted to the US District of Grand Rapids that he and other members of the Wolverine Watchmen, a self-proclaimed Michigan-based ‘militia’ group, masterminded the plot to kidnap Whitmer in his summer residence in 2020 because they were upset by the state’s COVID-19 restrictions.
The plot, which allegedly included plans to use semi-automatic assault weapons and to bomb a bridge near Whitmer’s vacation home, was foiled by plainclothes law enforcement officers who infiltrated the group.
“Have any police officers suggested kidnapping the governor?” U.S. Magistrate Judge Phillip Green asked Franks during Wednesday’s hearing.
Franks replied, “No sir.”
Franks admitted in court that the kidnapping plan came solely from him and the others charged with the conspiracy.
Lawyers for the other men tried in March filed a motion to dismiss the charges, arguing they were framed. The judge denied this request.
Franks’ guilty plea comes after another man charged in the case, Ty Garbin, 25, pleaded guilty last year to firearms and conspiracy charges for providing material support to terrorists. Garbin was sentenced in August to 75 months in prison.
Garbin is also expected to testify for the prosecution at the upcoming federal trial of Adam Fox, 40, Barry Croft Jr., 45, Daniel Harris, 24, and Brandon Caserta, 33. Eight other men face charges in state court in connection with the kidnapping. parcel.
Franks admitted to being deeply involved in the kidnapping plot, participating in meetings and training sessions, and surveilling Whitmer’s vacation home in his signed plea agreement.
After the plot was thwarted, Whitmer alleged in an interview with ABC’s “Good Morning America” that the plan included more than her kidnapping.
“It was a very serious and thoughtful plot to kill police officers, bomb our capital, kill Democrats and Republicans, and kidnap me and ultimately bring me to justice and kill me as well,” Whitmer said on ‘GMA’. “That’s the kind of stuff you hear from groups like ISIS. It’s not a militia, it’s a national terrorist organization.”