GUILTY MI - 14 men charged in plot to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Oct 2020 *7 guilty, 2 NG*

worm

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I agree with your observation. Your concerns about entrapment have been raised by alot of civil liberty type organizations- usually involving plotters of the Islamic variety.

But.... in the end, alot of entrapment arguments keep getting shot down. For example, this case here:https://www.projectsalam.org/documents/Apeal_Briefs_Newburgh_4/Appeal brief - Cromitie.pdf

- Professional undercover contractor (need to find bad guys to stay employed. So... incentive to "create" bad guys?) approaches dim wit loitering around a mosque.

- After being shown "juice up" material, dim wit makes a series of anti semitic and anti USA comments. Ironically, some comments are contradictory (not the brightest plotter ever).

- Undercover contractor then repeatedly approaches him about carrying out attacks. Suspect is sort of interested, but not really. Contractor promises alot of cash, a barber shop, and.... a kewl car if terror attacks are carried out.

- Dimwit eventually recruits three other plotters. But their attention spans and interest soon wane. Under cover contractor is ordered to keep the plot moving. Dimwits eventually retrieve and plant dummy explosives at synagogues and military base.

Trial judge and appellate judge then shoot down entrapment claims. There are some successes, however.

This dim witted eco plotter (blow up dam 'n torch the research lab) eventually got his conviction over turned years later after the sexy under cover contractor (fishnets and ohh so anarchist black everything) was found to have been trained in seduction psychology and was provided with feedback on keeping the lapsing plotter interested in her until the "mission".

Contractor also used the smoke some weed- then watch juice up videos, and "Yes, my car works and I"ll provide the rides to the secret training hide out." type techniques.

The feds blew the “Operation Black Biscuit” I think it was, the big motorcycle club investigation, because cops got to comfy in the bike world. I guess these things are sticky but as I’ve mentioned before, look at the dirty games that LE has played in drug cases.
 

shotgun09

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The entire plot was conceived AFTER the people of Michigan reached a boiling point, regarding the lockdown mandates from GW. They couldn't buy seeds!!! At Walmart!!! The seeds were roped off, covered in wrap around plastic, along with other essential gardening supplies.
Then the Gov said " No recreational boating"......and her hubby got caught boating!! The people in MI were livid. And, the FBI used their ( The peoples) emotions and set this all in motion. They looked for not so bright folks. I mean clearly!!.. if I was sought out to join a 'secret militia' via an on-line chat group, I would have run for the hills!! Just sayin'.

My question is, why did the FBI feel the need to go search for and create people, and secretly entrap/entice them in a plot to kill the governor, if there wasn't a reason...other than politically? It doesn't make sense to me
 

Cryptic

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My question is, why did the FBI feel the need to go search for and create people, and secretly entrap/entice them in a plot to kill the governor, if there wasn't a reason...other than politically? It doesn't make sense to me
Though I dont know much about the details regarding this particular case, some questionable terrorism charges are based on a "Perfect Storm" of circumstances:

- Terror investigation and convictions are viewed as being a route to promotion etc.

- Govt uses a "contractor" type informant. Contractor has a temptation to create bad guys if there are none available. A "free ranging" contractor can also initiate investigations when he / she sees fit. Thus, an even bigger temptation to "create" an investigation.

- The informant and investigators then feed off each other on as they advance their interests (promotion via a successful terror investigation, continued employment as a professional informant).
 

shotgun09

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Though I dont know much about the details regarding this particular case, some questionable terrorism charges are based on a "Perfect Storm" of circumstances:

- Terror investigation and convictions are viewed as being a route to promotion etc.

- Govt uses a "contractor" type informant. Contractor has a temptation to create bad guys if there are none available. A "free ranging" contractor can also initiate investigations when he / she sees fit. Thus, an even bigger temptation to "create" an investigation.

- The informant and investigators then feed off each other on as they advance their interests (promotion via a successful terror investigation, continued employment as a professional informant).

Funny, that.
It seems as though the head of the FBI Detroit, Michigan office was promoted immediately after the announcement of arrests made in Michigan. ( October 2020) He now is leading the Jan 6 investigation operating out of DC. Imagine that.

This information has been reported elsewhere previously, but most recently last week on C-span, during a Senate Judiciary Committee Oversight Hearing while questioning FBI Director Wray.


Jump to the 1:19:40 mark for this portion of questions and answers.
 

Niner

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It has been awhile since I posted these notes - so will shorten them up a bit.


Tuesday, August 9th:
*Pretrial Hearing for all (State case-Jackson County) (@ am CT) - MI – Plot to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer*Paul Edward Bellar (21/now 23) of Milford arrested & charged (10/7/20) & arraigned (10/20/20) with gang membership, providing material support for terrorism & carrying or possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony. Was arrested in Columbia, SC & Michigan attempting to have him extradited to Michigan. $500K Cash Surety Bond. Bond reduced to $75K (12/18/20) with restrictions. Bond @ $150K (3/29/21). Out on bond.
*Charged (5/17/21) in Circuit Court with terrorist acts-provide MA, gang membership felonies & felony firearms.
*Joseph Matthew Morrison (26/now 28) of Munith arrested & charged (10/7/20) & arraigned (10/9/20) with threat of terrorism (charge was dismissed on 3/29/21), gang membership, providing material support for terrorist acts & carrying or possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony. Bail set at $10M. Bond reduced (12/18/20) to $75K with restrictions.
*Charged (5/17/21) in Circuit Court with terrorist acts-provide MA, gang membership felonies & felony firearms. Bond reduced (12/20/21) to $5K Cash/Surety providing he will wear a GPS tether. Out on bond.
*Pete Musico (42/now 43) of Munith arrested & charged (10/7/20) & arraigned (10/9/20) with threat of terrorism (charge was dismissed on 3/29/21), gang membership, providing material support for terrorist act & carrying or possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony. Bail set at $10M. Bond reduced (12/18/20) to $100K with restrictions. Out of jail.
*Charged (5/17/21) in Circuit Court with terrorist acts-provide MA, gang membership felonies & felony firearms.
Trial was set to begin on 9/12/22 continued to 10/10/22. (2 weeks).
Court info from 10/8/20 thru 12/20/21 reference post #440 here:
https://www.websleuths.com/forums/t...rnor-gretchen-whitmer-oct-2020.546457/page-22

2/23/22 Update: Morrison, Musico & Bellar appeared before Jackson Circuit Judge Thomas Wilson on Wednesday for a hearing on an entrapment motion. Present: Assistant Attorney General Sunita Doddamani, defense attorney Nicholas Somberg (Morrison's attorney), defense attorney Kareem Johnson (Musico's attorney) & defense attorney Andrew Kirkpatrick (Bellar's attorney). FBI special agent Henrik Impola testified. Judge Wilson granted Morrison the OK to leave his property to work with Musico for their chimney sweeping business. Morrison had remained locked up through December with prosecutors arguing he was the highest risk on release. He'll remain on a GPS tether & Wilson promised to review records of his movements weekly. Informant Dan is expected to testify Monday, 2/28/22 when the entrapment hearing resumes.
2/28/22 Update: An FBI informant identified Monday in court only as “Dan” testified about communications & conversations he had with the defendants. Defense attorneys said some of their clients' activities were initiated by the informant who was controlled by the FBI. Assistant Attorney General Sunita Doddamani said there has been no evidence that the informant's actions “overbore” the defendants' will “to be law-abiding citizens.” Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Wilson denied an entrapment motion filed by Jackson County defendants ellar, Morrison & Musico: "As expected, the defense has worked to skew the facts of this case to undermine the integrity of the charges. This ruling makes clear these defendants were not pressured by law enforcement into committing these crimes. These were very serious threats to our elected officials * the public & the perpetrators of these crimes must be held accountable." Judge Wilson scheduled the Jackson County trial to begin Monday, 9/12/22. A pretrial date was set for 8/8/22. 4/5/22 Update: Pretrial date was changed to 8/9/22. 4/14/22: The trial is now scheduled to begin 10/10/22.
Musico & Morrison are founding members of the Wolverine Watchmen. Morrison is considered Watchmen’s “Commander” & is known by the online moniker “Boogaloo Bunyan”.
Accomplices: Eric Molitor, Michael Null, William Null, Shawn Michael Fix & Brian Higgins – all charged with State crimes (Antrium County). Molitor, Null, Null, Fix & Higgins have preliminary hearing on 8/29/22.
Federal Cases: Adam Dean Fox, Barry Croft, Kaleb James Franks, Daniel Joseph Harris, Brandon Caserta. Gerard Garbin plead guilty on 1/27/21 to kidnapping conspiracy & was sentenced on 8/25/21 to 6 years & 3 months in Federal prison. Kaleb James Franks plead guilty (2/7/22) to kidnapping conspiracy. Will testify at trial & will be sentencing afterwards. No sentencing date as of 4/27/22. All charged with Federal crimes; trial to start on 3/8/22 & ended on 4/8/22. Harris & Caserta found not guilty & Fox & Croft resulted in a mistrial. U.S. Attorney Andrew Birge says he will retry Fox & Croft. Re trial begins on 8/9/22.
 

Niner

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Tuesday, August 9th:
*Trial set to begin (Federal case) (@ am CT) - MI – Plot to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer - *Adam Dean Fox (38/now 39) (born 1983) of Grand Rapids, *Barry Gordon Croft, Jr. (44/now 45) (no birth date given) from Bear, Delaware arrested & charged (10/8/20) & indicted (12/17/20) with conspiracy to commit kidnapping. All charged with a federal crime. All are being held without bond. Both plead not guilty (12/17/20).
*Adam Dean Fox additional charges (4/28/21) with knowingly conspiring to use weapons of mass destruction against persons or property in addition to the kidnapping conspiracy charged in October 2020. The superseding indictment further alleges that Fox, Croft & Harris intended to use the devices to destroy a nearby bridge, in effect, harming & hindering the governor’s security detail and any responding law enforcement officers.
*Barry Gordon Croft, Jr. additional charges (4/28/21) with knowingly conspiring to use weapons of mass destruction against persons or property in addition to the kidnapping conspiracy charged in October 2020. The superseding indictment further alleges that Fox, Croft & Harris intended to use the devices to destroy a nearby bridge, in effect, harming & hindering the governor’s security detail & any responding law enforcement officers & superseding indictment also alleges that on Sept. 13, 2020 in Lake County, Michigan, Croft & Harris knowingly possessed a destructive device that was not registered to them in the National Firearms Registration & Transfer Record as required by federal law.
Trial began on 3/8/22 with jury selection & trial began on 3/9/22. 12 jurors & 6 alternates. 3/17/22: 1 juror missing (out sick), replaced by alternate. 12 Jurors & 5 alternates. The trial was interrupted due to COVID from 3/11 to 3/16/22. 4/4/22: Jury deliberations ~8 hours. 4/5/22: Deliberations: ~8 hours. 4/6/22: Deliberations: ~8 hours. 4/7/22: Deliberations: ~ 8 hours. 4/8/22: Deliberations: ~5 hours. Total deliberations: ~37 hours. Jury found Harris & Caserta not guilty & unable to reach verdict for Fox & Croft.
Re-Trial (for Fox & Croft) set to begin on 8/9/22.

Criminal Complaint & court info from 10/9/20 thru 3/13/22 & Jury Selection Day 1 (3/8/22) & Trial Days 1-4 (Week 1) (3/9 to 3/10 & 3/17 to 3/18/22), Trial Days 5-9 (Week 2) (3/21 to 3/25/22), Trial Days 10-14 (Week 3) (3/28 to 4/1/22) & Jury Deliberations Day 1-4 (4/4 to 4/7/22) reference post #545 here:
https://www.websleuths.com/forums/t...whitmer-oct-2020-garbin-guilty.546457/page-28

4/8/22 Friday, Trial Day 19/Jury Deliberations Day 5: A jury in the trial against four men charged with plotting to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has returned a mixed verdict. The jury found Daniel Harris & Brandon Caserta not guilty on all charges & were unable to reach a verdict in the charges against Adam Fox & Barry Croft, resulting in a mistrial. The verdict was read in federal court on Friday afternoon. Fox & Croft will return to jail for the time being. Harris & Caserta are being freed right now. Andrew Birge, U.S. attorney for the Western District of Michigan, vowed to retry the accused ringleaders, Fox & Croft.
6/30/22 Update: Chief U.S. District Judge Robert Jonker ordered two men accused of plotting to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to face a retrial about three months after jurors failed to reach a verdict, multiple outlets report. The two suspects, Adam Fox & Barry Croft, sought acquittal from the court after their earlier trial in the kidnapping plot ended in a mistrial. Re trial set to begin on 8/9/22.
*Daniel Harris (24) – Found not guilty (4/8/22).
*Brandon Caserta (33) – Found not guilty (4/8/22).
*Ty Gerard Garbin (24) - Plead guilty (1/27/21) to kidnapping conspiracy & was sentenced (8/25/21) to 6 years & 3 months in Federal prison. Garbin will testify at the trial of the other defendants. Lengthy testimony & repeated debriefings have been critical in building a case to counter defense arguments that revolve around free speech issues as well as accusations of entrapment by federal undercover informants, Nils R. Kessler, the lead U.S. attorney on the case.
Kaleb James Franks (26) – Plead guilty (2/7/22) to kidnapping conspiracy. Will testify at trial & will be sentencing afterwards.
(State: for Antrim County preliminary hearings on 8/29/22 & Jackson County pretrial hearing on 8/9/22 & trial starts 10/10/22).
 

shotgun09

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Jury selection is underway in the re-do trial. I have found a local reporter ( Unbiased?) who is live tweeting from the courthouse in Grand Rapids. He is a blue-checked member of Twitter, a local Fox-WXMI-Fox 17 news reporter. I will alert this post for approval.

Michael E Martin

@MichaelMartinGR
·
57m

Judge is now asking potential jurors about their thoughts on law enforcement & whether or not they can set those beliefs aside yo return an impartial verdict. Prosecutors & defense will now ask them some of their own questions. (
@FOX17
)
Quote Tweet



cgnr2dxS_mini.jpg


Michael E Martin

@MichaelMartinGR
· 2h
Some of the questions for jurors have been: Do you know anyone involved in the case? Do you watch the news? A lot? Are you aware of this case? Do you have strong political beliefs? Can you set aside any beliefs to deliver an impartial verdict? (@FOX17) twitter.com/MichaelMartinG…

 

shotgun09

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First question from Prosecution: Does anyone consider themselves very political, attend political rallies? Judge Jonker asks Prosecutor Kessler not to go too deeply into people’s personal beliefs. Now asking potential jurors if they know what “constitutionalism” is. (
@FOX17
)

Michael E Martin

@MichaelMartinGR
·
1h

Prosecution: How many of you own guns? How many? Why do you have them? What kind? 4 potential jurors say they have guns in their household. (
@FOX17
)
Quote Tweet





cgnr2dxS_mini.jpg


Michael E Martin

@MichaelMartinGR
· 1h
Prosecution: Anyone who feels like they are under government surveillance? One man talking about his phone pulling up ads after he talks about something particular at work… getting unsolicited emails from stores after visiting in person. (@FOX17) twitter.com/michaelmarting…
 

shotgun09

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Niner

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Wednesday, August 10th:
*Trial begins (Day 1) (Federal case) (@ am CT) - MI – Plot to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer - *Adam Dean Fox (38/now 39) (born 1983) of Grand Rapids, *Barry Gordon Croft, Jr. (44/now 45) (no birth date given) from Bear, Delaware arrested & charged (10/8/20) & indicted (12/17/20) with conspiracy to commit kidnapping. All charged with a federal crime. All are being held without bond. Both plead not guilty (12/17/20).
*Adam Dean Fox additional charges (4/28/21) with knowingly conspiring to use weapons of mass destruction against persons or property in addition to the kidnapping conspiracy charged in October 2020. The superseding indictment further alleges that Fox, Croft & Harris intended to use the devices to destroy a nearby bridge, in effect, harming & hindering the governor’s security detail and any responding law enforcement officers.
*Barry Gordon Croft, Jr. additional charges (4/28/21) with knowingly conspiring to use weapons of mass destruction against persons or property in addition to the kidnapping conspiracy charged in October 2020. The superseding indictment further alleges that Fox, Croft & Harris intended to use the devices to destroy a nearby bridge, in effect, harming & hindering the governor’s security detail & any responding law enforcement officers & superseding indictment also alleges that on Sept. 13, 2020 in Lake County, Michigan, Croft & Harris knowingly possessed a destructive device that was not registered to them in the National Firearms Registration & Transfer Record as required by federal law.
Trial began on 3/8/22 with jury selection & trial began on 3/9/22. 12 jurors & 6 alternates. 3/17/22: 1 juror missing (out sick), replaced by alternate. 12 Jurors & 5 alternates. The trial was interrupted due to COVID from 3/11 to 3/16/22. 4/4/22: Jury deliberations ~8 hours. 4/5/22: Deliberations: ~8 hours. 4/6/22: Deliberations: ~8 hours. 4/7/22: Deliberations: ~ 8 hours. 4/8/22: Deliberations: ~5 hours. Total deliberations: ~37 hours. Jury found Harris & Caserta not guilty & unable to reach verdict for Fox & Croft.
Re-Trial (for Fox & Croft) began on 8/9/22 with jury selection, trial begins on 8/10/22. Jury: 12 jurors & 6 alternates.

Criminal Complaint & court info from 10/9/20 thru 3/13/22 & Jury Selection Day 1 (3/8/22) & Trial Days 1-4 (Week 1) (3/9 to 3/10 & 3/17 to 3/18/22), Trial Days 5-9 (Week 2) (3/21 to 3/25/22), Trial Days 10-14 (Week 3) (3/28 to 4/1/22) & Jury Deliberations Day 1-4 (4/4 to 4/7/22) & thru 6/30/22 & Re-Trial Day 1 (8/8/22) reference post #588 here:
https://www.websleuths.com/forums/t...whitmer-oct-2020-garbin-guilty.546457/page-30

8/8/22 Monday, Trial Day 1 of Jury Selection: Jury selection begins.
8/9/22 Tuesday, Trial Day 2 of Jury Selection: Jury selection has finished. They have 18 people seated. 12 jurors & 6 alternates. Jury is sworn in.
For more info see post #589 to 591 & 595 here:
https://www.websleuths.com/forums/t...whitmer-oct-2020-2-guilty-2-ng.546457/page-30
Trial begins with opening statements on 8/10/22.

*Daniel Harris (24) – Found not guilty (4/8/22).
*Brandon Caserta (33) – Found not guilty (4/8/22).
*Ty Gerard Garbin (24) - Plead guilty (1/27/21) to kidnapping conspiracy & was sentenced (8/25/21) to 6 years & 3 months in Federal prison. Garbin will testify at the trial of the other defendants. Lengthy testimony & repeated debriefings have been critical in building a case to counter defense arguments that revolve around free speech issues as well as accusations of entrapment by federal undercover informants, Nils R. Kessler, the lead U.S. attorney on the case.
Kaleb James Franks (26) – Plead guilty (2/7/22) to kidnapping conspiracy. Will testify at trial & will be sentencing afterwards.
(State: for Antrim County preliminary hearings on 8/29/22 & Jackson County pretrial hearing on 8/9/22 & trial starts 10/10/22).
 
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shotgun09

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I took the liberty of gathering a few tweets and posting them together. From Michael Martin, Fox news in Grand Rapids.



"The day has begun in Grand Rapids federal court… First item of the day: Juror #242 has called out sick & an alternate is being moved in. Opening statements will begin shortly."

"PROSECUTOR: Fox and Croft wanted to kidnap and hang Governors long before they wanted to kidnap the Governor of Michigan… Croft wanted a 2nd revolution & Fox had embraced the 3 percenters & Boogaloo movement. "


"PROSECUTOR: This wasn’t just talk… these defendants and “others” took specific steps planning and training. No mention of Harris or Caserta by name. "

"PROSECUTOR on Ty Garbin & Kaleb Franks: "They will come into this courtroom and will tell you that they agreed with Adam Fox and Barry Croft to kidnap the Governor, they will tell you how real this plot is."

 
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shotgun09

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Defense up:

"FOX'S ATTNY: “All big talkers, nothing but talk” After a couple months of arranging the "big talkers" to interact with each other, not resulting in plots, crimes, or conspiracies, the FBI and it's informants took matters into their own hands. "


( Some photos are attached to link below)

FOX'S ATTNY: "Big Dan (main undercover informant) told Adam to draw this map of Gov's Elk Rapids cabin. "The pad of paper that Adam is drawing on belongs to Big Dan, the pen in his hand was given to him by Big Dan." Says Fox never asked for a copy of the map afterward.
@FOX17

FOX'S ATTNY: "The talk, no matter how ugly, is not a crime, it's not a crime to engage in heated rhetoric, not a crime to say outrageous things, not a crime to not like your government, to not like your Governor, your President, or anyone else who sits in elected office."

FOX'S ATTNY: "Big talk, without more, is nothing... The FBI knew that, that’s why they turned up heat in august of 2020, started implementing, organizing, and executing surveillance on Governor's house & throwing these guys in the truck with them."


 
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