Man Involved in Plot to Kidnap Gretchen Whitmer Gave Plan Details to FBI After Arrest

One of the men charged in connection to a foiled plot to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer revealed details about the plan to the FBI after his arrest, the Associated Press reported. Prosecutors hope that U.S. District Judge Robert Jonker considers Ty Garbin's cooperation when he sentences him on Wednesday for conspiracy.

The government is prescribing a nine-year prison sentence for Garbin, a recommendation that would have been more severe had he not worked with the bureau. A government court filing said that Garbin put a "target on his back to begin his own redemption" within weeks of his arrest, the AP reported.

"He filled in gaps in the government's knowledge by recounting conversations and actions that did not include any government informant or ability to record," Assistant U.S. Attorney Nils Kessler said.

"Second, he confirmed that the plot was real; not just 'big talk between crackpots,' as suggested by co-defendants. Third, he dispelled any suggestion that the conspirators were entrapped by government informants," Kessler added.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

Ty Garbin Faces Conspiracy Sentencing
Ty Garbin, one of the individuals charged in connection with a kidnapping plot for Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, reportedly shared details about the plan with the FBI after his arrest. This file photo provided by the Kent County Sheriff, shows Garbin. Kent County Sheriff via AP

The FBI last October said it broke up a scheme to kidnap the Democratic governor by anti-government extremists who were upset over Whitmer's coronavirus restrictions. Six men were charged in federal court, while others were charged in state court with aiding them.

When the kidnapping case was filed, Whitmer pinned some blame on then-President Donald Trump, saying his refusal to denounce far-right groups had inspired extremists across the U.S.

The governor last year put major restrictions on personal movement and the economy because of COVID-19, although many limits were eventually lifted. The Michigan Capitol was the site of rallies, including ones with gun-toting protesters calling for Whitmer's removal.

Whitmer exchanged barbs with Trump on social media, with Trump declaring in April 2020, "LIBERATE MICHIGAN!"

Garbin, a 25-year-old airplane mechanic, is the only federal defendant to plead guilty in the plot; the others are awaiting trial.

In his plea agreement, Garbin said the six men trained at his property near Luther, Michigan, constructing a "shoot house" to resemble Whitmer's vacation home and "assaulting it with firearms."

A Tennessee-based group called Parents for Peace said it helps people move away from extremist movements. It is asking the judge for a "minimal" prison sentence, noting that Garbin's rocky childhood and other factors contributed to his decisions.

The group's hotline has "received a significant increase in calls during the COVID-19 pandemic," Parents for Peace said in a court filing. "Extremism has continued to be on the rise, and as more and more people were stuck at home, online and found their social networks broken, people turned to extremism."

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer
Prosecutors are preparing for the first sentencing of an individual pleading guilty after the FBI foiled a plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Whitmer speaks during a drive-in campaign rally with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and former President Barack Obama at Belle Isle on October 31, 2020 in Detroit. Drew Angerer/Getty Images