Jury convicts two suspects in plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Photo: Michigan Advance

Two men whose first trial on charges of planning to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in 2020 ended in a mistrial, have been convicted by a second jury.

Adam Fox, 39, and Barry Croft Jr., 46, were found guilty in federal court in Grand Rapids Tuesday morning on conspiracy charges connected to a plot to kidnap Whitmer from her vacation home in northern Michigan in retaliation for her COVID-19 restrictions early on in the pandemic.

Prosecutors also contended that the plotters, two of whom were found not guilty in the first trial, sought to create chaos in the days leading up to the 2020 general election.

Fox and Croft were also found guilty of conspiring to obtain a weapon of mass destruction, related to their attempt to purchase explosives that could be used to blow up a bridge near Whitmer’s vacation home in order to slow police responding to the kidnapping.

Evidence presented during both trials indicated Fox twice traveled to northern Michigan to scout out the area around Whitmer’s second home with Croft and an undercover agent coming along on one of the trips.

Croft, a trucker from Delaware, was also convicted on an additional explosives charge.

Assisting the prosecution was testimony from two other defendants, Ty Garbin and Kaleb Franks, who earlier pleaded guilty as part of a deal. Garbin was sentenced to six years in prison in August 2021. Franks has yet to be sentenced.

The investigation began when a U.S Army veteran, Dan Chappel, agreed to become an informant after joining the group, who called themselves the Wolverine Watchmen. He said he did so to maintain his firearm skills, but agreed to assist the FBI l after discussion among the group turned to making plans for attacking police. Read more