The first of 14 men charged in the plot to kidnap and kill Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has agreed to plead guilty, according to a plea agreement filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan.
Ty Garbin is one of six charged by the feds with kidnapping conspiracy and facing up to life in prison.
Federal law enforcement's evidence against Garbin includes training for their mission on Garbin’s land in Luther near the governor’s summer home in the northern part of the state.
Garbin was with other co-defendants and a confidential informant working with law enforcement to recruit more people during a Second Amendment gun rally in Lansing. Garbin made a video to allegedly show his co-defendants his gun safe and firepower in his home.
Read the full plea agreement below.
Federal law enforcement also detailed evidence showing that Garbin attempted to build an Improvised Explosive Device, that he talked about shooting up the governor’s home and that he offered to paint his boat black to be used for surveillance of her home. Evidence showed the Garbin also urged “zero” public interaction if they wanted to continue with their plans and on Oct. 7, he met with an undercover FBI agent with co-defendants to make a down payment on explosives.
Garbin’s hearing is set for Wednesday in Federal Court in Grand Rapids.
Judge Robert Jonker has set a trial start date for March. He has put the other defendants on notice if they come in at the last minute to plead guilty, they may not get a lower sentence.
Criminal Defense Attorney Anjali Prasad — a former federal prosecutor — says the plot to kidnap and kill the governor is based on an anti-government mindset against COVID-19 mandates imposed by Whitmer.
She says the mindset is not that different from those who rioted the U.S. Capitol and suggests they may be talking to each other — even though the six charged in the federal case remain in jail.
“Even though these individuals are detained they could have access to information that could lead law enforcement to identify individuals who were at the capitol building,” Prasad said.
This story was originally published by Jim Kiertzner on WXYZ in Detroit.