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Final Defendant in Michigan Governor Kidnapping Plot Sentenced to Over 19 Years in Prison

Croft was convicted by a federal jury in August 2022 during an 11-day retrial.

Barry Croft Jr., 47, of Bear, Delaware, was sentenced Wednesday to 235 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release for conspiracy to kidnap the Governor of Michigan, conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction against persons or property, and knowingly possessing an unregistered destructive device, which was a commercial firework refashioned with shrapnel to serve as a hand-grenade.

Croft was convicted by a federal jury in August 2022 during an 11-day retrial. According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Croft and others intended to kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer from her vacation cottage near Elk Rapids, Michigan, and use the destructive devices to facilitate their plot by harming and hindering the governor’s security detail and any responding law enforcement officers. They specifically explored placing a bomb under an interstate overpass near a pedestrian boardwalk. A jury in an earlier trial was unable to reach a verdict.

Croft is the final defendant to be sentenced for his role in the plot.

Co-defendant Adam Fox, 39, of Wyoming, Michigan, was sentenced yesterday to 16 years in prison followed by five years of supervised release for his role in the conspiracy. Ty Garbin, 27, of Hartland, Michigan, pleaded guilty in January 2021 and initially received a sentence of 75 months, or over six years, in prison. The district court later reduced that sentence to a term of 30 months, or two and a half years in prison, after fully considering his cooperation at both trials. Kaleb Franks, 28, of Waterford, Michigan, received a term of four years in prison after pleading guilty and testifying at both trials. Co-defendants Daniel Harris and Brandon Caserta were acquitted at the first trial in April 2022.

Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen of the Justice Department’s National Security Division, Former U.S. Attorney Andrew Birge for the Western District of Michigan, appointed to oversee the trial, Assistant Director Robert R. Wells of the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division and Special Agent in Charge James A. Tarasca of the FBI Detroit Field Office made the announcement.

The FBI’s Detroit Field Office investigated the case with valuable assistance provided by the FBI’s Baltimore Field Office and the Joint Terrorism Task Force, including Michigan State Police and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Michigan charged the case and conducted the trials, with valuable assistance provided by the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section.

Read more at the Justice Department

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The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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