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Man to plead guilty in plot to kidnap Michigan governor

Ty Garbin, one of six men charged in an alleged plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer
Ty Garbin, one of six men charged in an alleged plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, has agreed to plead guilty to a kidnapping conspiracy charge.
(Kent County Sheriff)

One of six men charged in an alleged plot to abduct Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has agreed to plead guilty to a kidnapping conspiracy charge, according to a court document filed Wednesday.

The filing was made by prosecutors ahead of Ty Garbin’s appearance in federal court in Grand Rapids, Mich.

The plea agreement signed by Garbin indicates that he will “fully cooperate” with investigators. There is no agreement on his sentencing guidelines.

In October, the FBI said it had broken up the kidnapping plot by anti-government extremists upset over coronavirus restrictions that Whitmer, a Democrat, has imposed in Michigan. Six people were charged in federal court while eight others were charged in state court with aiding the alleged scheme.

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Garbin’s guilty plea would be a swift resolution for prosecutors, just shy of four months after the arrests.

His attorney, Mark Satawa, said last fall that Garbin had no intention to carry out a kidnapping, no matter what he might have said in recorded or online conversations. A “big talk” defense had emerged as a defense strategy.

Members of anti-government paramilitary groups discussed kidnapping Virginia’s governor, an FBI agent testified Tuesday.

“Saying things like, ‘I hate the governor, the governor is tyrannical’ ... is not illegal, even if you’re holding a gun and running around the woods when you do it,” Satawa said in October.

The other defendants are Adam Fox, Barry Croft Jr., Kaleb Franks, Daniel Harris and Brandon Caserta. A trial has been scheduled for March 23.


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