JACKSON, Mich. — Judge Thomas Wilson denied the motion in the hearing where three men involved with the extremist group – Wolverine Watchmen – claimed the FBI entrapped them in its investigation.
After listening to several factors in relation to how entrapment works, Judge Wilson said FBI informant "Dan" did not increase criminal culpability referencing his interactions with the three defendants and their alleged role in a plot to kidnap Governor Whitmer.
Wilson said there were also several instances where "Dan" de-escalated situations.
"Dan contacted the FBI after he became concerned about law enforcement safety and the politicians," Wilson said. "The Wolverine Watchmen did not appear on FBI radar until his contact with them there. I could not possibly find there was any targeting."
Wilson ruled that Joseph Morrison initiated a relationship with Adam Fox, the alleged ringleader for the plot to attack the state capitol, kill law enforcement and kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer in 2020.
Wilson also said in the ruling there was control over Dan by the FBI. Dan did not originally want to be an FBI informant but changed his mind and has appeared to follow their directives.
Pre-trial court proceedings in this trial are expected to begin in August.
On Monday attorneys for Paul Bellar, Joseph Morrison and Pete Musico examined “Dan” saying his actions while in the Wolverine Watchmen group led to an escalation of plans that led to the plot to try and kidnap Governor Whitmer.
"I think they took advantage of these guys who weren't educated, didn't have money and were upset with the government," Attorney Nicholas Somberg who is representing Joseph Morrison said during Monday's hearing.
Assistant Attorney General Sunita Doddamani said the accused knew exactly what they were doing during Monday's hearing.
"These aren't just guys that are doomsday preppers being arm twisted by 'Dan' into targeting law enforcement and politicians," she said.
The three men are charged with providing material support for terrorist acts, felony gang membership and felony firearms.
Happening next week in Grand Rapids five other defendants including Adam Fox will stand trial in federal court.
FOX 47 News will be in both courtrooms as these trials unfold.
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