US attorney releases evidence tied to Whitmer kidnapping plot

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U.S. Magistrate Judge Sally Berens said the five men's cases can go to a grand jury, which will determine whether to issue indictments. That is required for them to face trial.{ }(WWMT/Carole Kabrin)

New evidence was released by the Western District of Michigan U.S. Attorney’s Office in the plot to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

The attorney released a USB flash drive containing photographs, video, telephone calls and encrypted messages that have been used as evidence against six men charged with conspiring to kidnap Whitmer.

There are a lot of photos of guns, videos of what appear to be tactical training exercises and copies of encrypted text messages the suspects allegedly sent over the course of the past several months.

Videos appear to show several of the alleged conspirators taking part in tactical training exercises.

In one video, a group of men quickly loading weapons inside a car and practicing jumping out quickly before firing.

In one photo a man is standing at the edge of a lake and investigators said the suspects had been surveilling the governor’s vacation home in northern Michigan's Antrim County.

Several documents talk about the surveillance done at the governor's vacation home.

Also a document about surveilling a bridge that the FBI said would act as a distraction for police.

There are also a few videos showing individuals practicing quick reloading of rifles and playing with a stun gun.

According to federal prosecutor’s, one photo shows accused ring leader Adam Fox drawing a map of the governor’s cottage.

There were also many documents released that show messages passed between the group, including messages about possibly killing police.

In one set of messages the group talks about a trip to Maine to kill a retired police officer.

The evidence the federal prosecutor’s have released was gathered by informants and undercover FBI agents that had infiltrated the militia group known as the Wolverine Watchmen.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Sally Berens ruled there is enough evidence against five of the six men to move the case forward. Fox and Ty Garben would remain in custody after the hearing Friday, Oct. 17, 2020. Kaleb Franks, Daniel Harris and Brandon Caserta were denied bond Tuesday.

The sixth man, Barry Croft, was ordered to be transferred to Michigan from Delaware.

In all, 14 people have been charged in what FBI investigators described as a plot to violently overthrow the government and kidnap the governor.