Whitmer Plot Suspect Wanted to Kill Police, Doctors: Witness

Defendant was angered by the possibility of vaccine mandates, informant testifies
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 20, 2022 12:15 PM CDT
Whitmer Plot Suspect Wanted to Kill Police, Doctors: Witness
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer speaks at a news conference on March 11 at the governor's office in Lansing.   (AP Photo/David Eggert File)

(Newser) – One of the men plotting to kidnap Michigan's governor also had ideas for heading off COVID-19 vaccine mandates, an informant has testified: Kill the police officers who would enforce the mandates, cut off the heads of lawyers who support the vaccines, and blow up the places where vaccines are made. The FBI informant took the stand Friday in the trial of four men on kidnapping conspiracy charges; three of them also face weapons of mass destruction charges, the Detroit Free Press reports. The jury heard recordings of Brandon Caserta, one of the defendants, making the vaccine comments to the informant.

Caserta was angered by the vaccine's development and also wanted to target doctors and contact tracers, the witness said. "We create a dynamic where no one wants to be a contact tracer because they might f****** die," Caserta said in an August 2020 recording. The informant said he had joined Wolverine Watchmen after becoming interested in the militia after a suggestion from Facebook, per MLive. He testified that he contacted the FBI when members started talking about killing police; they'd discussed finding officers' home addresses and killing Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's security detail, the informant said.

Defense lawyers argue that much of the plotting was conducted when the members were drunk or high and that though they may have talked about how to kidnap the governor, they couldn't have pulled it off. They were unable to find Whitmer's house the first time they tried to do reconnaissance, the lawyers said; they had the wrong address. In total, 14 men face state and federal charges in the case. The four on trial now in federal court are Caserta, Barry Croft Jr., Adam Fox, and Daniel Harris. Ty Garbin and Kaleb James Franks will testify in the case after pleading guilty to a federal charge conspiracy to kidnap. (Read more conspiracy stories.)

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