Two men involved in a 2020 plot to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer were convicted on all counts against them on Tuesday. Michigan resident Adam Fox and Delaware resident Barry Croft, Jr. were found guilty of conspiring to kidnap Whitmer and conspiring to obtain a weapon of mass destruction in the form of a bomb to blow up a bridge near Whitmer’s vacation home to slow down responding police.
Croft was also found guilty of possession of an unregistered destructive device — an improvised explosive wrapped in pennies for shrapnel.
A federal criminal complaint was filed with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in October 2020 accusing Fox, Croft and Michigan residents Brandon Caserta, Daniel Harris, Ty Garbin and Kaleb Franks of conspiring to kidnap Whitmer from her vacation home in northern Michigan.
Fox and Croft — who were considered the leaders of the abduction plot — were tried jointly in Grand Rapids and faced their first trial in April, where the jury ultimately could not reach a verdict. On July 1, Chief U.S District Judge Robert Jonker ordered a new trial for the two. Fox and Croft declined to testify in the second trial.
In a statement obtained by The Michigan Daily, Whitmer thanked prosecutors and law enforcement officers involved in the trial.
“Today’s verdicts prove that violence and threats have no place in our politics and those who seek to divide us will be held accountable,” the statement reads. “They will not succeed.”
Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II similarly extolled the verdict in his statement.
“Today’s outcome ensures that those who threaten to kidnap and kill public officials will be held accountable for their crimes under the law,” the statement reads. “When we took our oaths of office, we committed to serving all Michiganders. Violent extremists have tried to scare us and prevent us from doing our jobs, but they will not win. We will keep working hard, standing tall and standing tough, and living up to the oath we took.”
Whitmer and Gilchrist are up for reelection in November, where they will take on Republican nominee Tudor Dixon and her unannounced running mate.
Daily News Editor Anna Fifelski can be reached at email@example.com.