Men Accused in Whitmer Plot Sought to Destroy Bridge, Distract Cops: Lawyer

Four men accused of plotting to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer allegedly plotted to blow up a bridge in order to distract police officers, according to prosecutors.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Roth made the claim during opening statements in the case against Adam Fox, Brandon Caserta, Barry Croft Jr. and Daniel Harris. He, along with other prosecutors, said that the four men wanted to kidnap Whitmer due to restrictions she placed throughout the state during the COVID-19 pandemic. Destroying a bridge was allegedly part of their plan so police officers would not be able to quickly respond if any reports were made.

"What you have is that defendants agreed, planned, trained and were ready to break into a woman's home as she slept with her family in the middle of the night and with violence and at gunpoint they would tie her up and take her from that home," Roth said, "and to accomplish that they would shoot, blow up and kill anybody who got in their way."

Defense attorneys said the men were entrapped by undercover FBI agents, a claim that a circuit court judge denied for three other men charged in connection with the case.

"I just cannot, in reviewing this matter, find that the government somehow pressured any one of these individuals to participate in anything or to get in line in this way of thinking," Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Wilson recently said.

Alleged Whitmer Conspirators
Booking photos of (from left) Barry Croft Jr., Daniel Harris, Adam Fox and Brandon Caserta. The men are on trial in Michigan, accused of plotting to kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer. Kent County Sheriff and Delaware Department of Justice via AP

Fox and Croft spearheaded the kidnapping plot as well as the alleged plan to blow up a bridge nearby the governor's home, Roth said. Two others involved in the plot, Ty Garbin and Kaleb Franks, have already pleaded guilty and are expected to testify against the four.

According to the Associated Press, Garbin was the one to reveal the bridge plan. He claimed that Fox wanted the group to contribute money to a fund that would allow them to purchase a $4,000 explosive. However, plans for the explosion were supposedly scrapped. The bridge allegedly targeted by the group has not been publicly identified.

Newsweek reached out to representatives for Whitmer for comment. AP reported that she is not expected to attend the trial.

Update: 3/9/22, 10:49 a.m. ET: This story has been updated with additional information.