LANSING, Mich. - Agents foiled a stunning plot to kidnap Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, authorities said Thursday in announcing charges in an alleged scheme that involved months of planning and even rehearsals to snatch her from her vacation home.
Six men were charged in federal court with conspiring to kidnap the governor before the Nov. 3 elections in reaction to what they viewed as her “uncontrolled power,” according to a federal complaint. Separately, seven others linked to a paramilitary group called the Wolverine Watchmen were charged in state court for allegedly seeking to storm the Michigan Capitol and seek a “civil war.”
Residents in sleepy Bear, Delaware are absolutely stunned to hear one of their neighbors is accused in the plot.
The indictment says the plan to storm Michigan's capital in a "violent overthrow" was hatched at a second amendment rally back in June.
The plot included surveillance of the governor's vacation home, firearms, and explosives training, along with detailed plans to take Witmer to a remote location in Wisconsin and try her for treason before the elections.
“I can’t process it. I’ll be quite honest with you. I just can’t process it right now. It’s just so shocking," one neighbor told FOX 29.
Neighbors on Daniels Court snapped photos of SWAT teams in the late night raid on the home of 44-year-old Barry Croft. The indictment describes Croft as the "baker," the explosives man on the team, referring to explosives as "cupcakes."
“Just the ridiculousness of it I guess. A plot to kidnap the governor? It’s very strange," neighbor Karen Field said.
No one answered the door when FOX 29 knocked at Croft's home Thursday.
One neighbor who didn't want to be identified says Croft described himself as a constitutionalist.
“I asked him one day what the tricorne hat was and he says he’s a constitutionalist. I went in and looked it up and it said it was a person who believed in the original constitution. It’s very scary."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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