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Federal judge: Surveillance of governor's vacation home shows kidnapping plot was serious

Federal judge: Surveillance of governor's vacation home shows kidnapping plot was serious”

A sixth man Brian Croft is also charged in the case and awaiting transfer from DE to MI.

A week ago the Federal Bureau of Investigation revealed that it had thwarted an attempt to kidnap the governor of MI and seize control over the state governing bodies organised by a group of people and members of the local militia, who believed the Democrat Gretchen Whitmer had "uncontrolled power".

An earlier version of this story said the five defendants will go to trial. That is required for them to face trial. Berens on Tuesday denied bond for three other men charged in the case, saying Kaleb Franks, Daniel Harris and Brandon Caserta repeatedly participated in discussions about abducting Whitmer.

An alleged leader of the plot, Adam Fox, waived his right for a bail hearing on 16 October and will thus remain in custody.

The preliminary hearing began Tuesday and wrapped up Friday.

Fox and Croft were among those who attended that session, according to testimony and court documents.

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In one clip a group of men dressed in military gear get out of a vehicle and fire rounds from assault rifles into the distance. The affidavit says some of the men were motivated by a desire to punish government officials who they believed were violating the U.S. Constitution. "And again, the point is: What has been done to show you that there was an actual agreement?"

Ty Garbin had actually been apprehended for apparently scheming with others to kidnap Whitmer from her upstate MI villa, consisting of casing out her home in the evening with his cohorts over the weekend of September 12 and 13.

Higgins is charged with material support of an act of terrorism, a felony that Nessel's office says carries a potential 20-year maximum prison sentence. But a federal prosecutor argued "less involved is not that same as not involved".

Some of them also participated in surveillance of Whitmer's northern MI home, Kessler said, rejecting defense attorneys' implication that the men participated in paramilitary group exercises without a specific plan for using those techniques.

Nessel said she couldn't go into detail on the charges at the moment. Berens found that the information presented in testimony and in court documents showed the men had a unified goal - to kidnap Whitmer - allowing the case to move forward.

"The fact that (the plan) was likely to be unsuccessful or hard to accomplish" isn't relevant, she said.

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