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5 charged in Whitmer kidnapping plot face indictment in federal court hearing

Posted at 8:29 PM, Dec 17, 2020

(WXYZ) — We’re learning more information in the federal case against five men charged in the plot to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer because of her COVID lockdown orders earlier this year.

The five pleaded not guilty in front of a Federal Magistrate Judge in Grand Rapids, one at a time, during a Zoom connection.

Four are from metro Detroit. They are Brandon Caserta of Canton, Adam Fox of Potterville, Ty Garbin of Hartland, Kaleb Franks of Waterford, and Daniel Harris of Lake Orion.

A total of 14 men are charged, including eight by the Michigan Attorney General.

Caserta is on video obtained by the feds talking several times about taking out police officers who get in their way.

In one video released earlier by the feds, Caserta talks about encountering police and says, “you better not give them a chance. You either tell them to go right now or they’re going to die.”

When Caserta was asked by the Magistrate Judge if it was OK to proceed on a Zoom connection and not in person for COVID safety he responded, “you have my consent.”

The feds described more about the timeline in the planning and plot to kidnap the governor before the November election.

In August, four of the men met in Lake Orion near where Daniel Harris lived to examine each others' identification to make sure they were not cops. The feds have revealed they had confidential informants and undercover FBI Agents working among the 14 charged.

Those assets photographed Fox during surveillance on the governor’s summer home and drawing a map of the property for the kidnapping.

Also in August, the alleged leader, Adam Fox, ordered $4,000 worth of explosives from an undercover FBI Agent.

In October, Fox bought a Taser he planned to use on the governor after she was in their custody.

On Oct. 7, four men were arrested when they showed up to make a payment on the explosives in Ypsilanti. That was the same day the feds raised the home of Ty Garbin in Hartland.

The feds say they will turn over all the evidence to defense attorneys by Jan. 15 and that the trial could last three weeks.

A date has not been set. It will be held in Grand Rapids.