Co-Leader of Plot to Kidnap Governor Is Sentenced

Adam Fox gets 16 years in foiled scheme to abduct Michigan's governor
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 27, 2022 10:40 AM CST
'Driving Force' in Whitmer Kidnap Plot Is Sentenced
Adam Fox.   (Kent County Jail via AP, File)

The co-leader of a plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has been sentenced to 16 years in prison. Adam Fox returned to federal court Tuesday, four months after he and Barry Croft Jr. were convicted of conspiracy charges in Grand Rapids, Michigan, per the AP. They were accused of being at the helm of a wild plot to whip up anti-government extremists just before the 2020 presidential election. Whitmer wasn't physically harmed—the FBI was secretly embedded in the group and broke things up with 14 arrests. Croft, a trucker from Bear, Delaware, will be sentenced Wednesday.

The government said Croft offered bomb-making skills and ideology, while Fox was the "driving force urging their recruits to take up arms, kidnap the governor, and kill those who stood in their way." Fox and Croft in 2020 met with like-minded provocateurs at a summit in Ohio, trained with weapons in Michigan and Wisconsin, and took a ride to "put eyes" on Whitmer's vacation home with night-vision goggles, according to evidence. "People need to stop with the misplaced anger and place the anger where it should go, and that's against our tyrannical ... government," Fox declared that spring, boiling over COVID-19 restrictions and perceived threats to gun ownership.

Two men who pleaded guilty to conspiracy and testified against Fox and Croft received substantial breaks: Ty Garbin is already free after a 2 1/2-year prison term, while Kaleb Franks was given a four-year sentence. In state court, three men recently were given lengthy sentences for assisting Fox earlier in the summer of 2020. Five more are awaiting trial in Antrim County, where Whitmer's vacation home is located.

(More Gretchen Whitmer stories.)

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