The Plot to Kidnap the Governor of Michigan

Some rights reserved, Adam Fox pictured top left with accomplices,

Thirteen men have been arrested for their plan to kidnap Governor Whitmer at her vacation home in Northern Michigan. The terrorist group wanted to release their anger in an elaborate plan to invade the Michigan Capitol Building and start a civil war. Adam Fox, Berry Croft, and four of their accomplices were sentenced to life imprisonment, while the remaining members are in jail awaiting their trials. 

Beginning in March, amid the chaos of a worldwide pandemic, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was informed of a social media group seeking personal information about police officers. They responded to their suspicions by sending an informant to gather further insight into the investigation. 

June 6 was Fox and his group’s first meeting. Believing that government officials were violating the Constitution, men from across the country gathered in Dublin, Ohio to discuss a plan of revenge. Their goal was to create a society that followed the U.S. Bill of Rights and where they could be self-sufficient. According to the information, the group hated Democratic Governor Whitmer because of her “anti-government” views, and discussed killing “tyrants” and “taking the governor.” After conversing various ideas of action, Fox was inspired to contact reinforcements and partnered with the Wolverine Watchman, a local armed group also flagged by the FBI in March. 

Through the summer, the group continued their meetings and held several training sessions practicing various skills, including building explosives. Most notably, a meeting on June 18 was documented with Fox’s ideas to “attack the Capitol.” On the meeting of June 20, Fox expressed his paranoia by collecting the member’s cell phones and meeting in his basement via a trap door disguised by a rug. Despite Fox’s efforts to eliminate exposure, the informant had an alternate recording device, and documented a member explaining their desire to, “use Molotov Cocktails to destroy police vehicles.” Beginning to finalize the logistics of their plan, Fox wanted to eliminate any possible vulnerability. At a tactical training session, he announced, “leave if you are not willing to participate in attacks against the government and killing politicians.” 

At the end of the summer, the group had another meetup in Dublin; this time to articulate the attack against Governor Whitmer at her summer residence. According to the complaint, they used the phrase, “make a cake and send it,” to refer to delivering a bomb to the governor. When Fox never heard back from the “baker,” he expressed his thoughts on the abduction of Whitmer.

According to the informant, July 27 was when the group officially decided to carry out their plan of kidnapping Whitmer. Several courses of action were considered, including sabotaging Whitmer’s boat and shooting her at her doorstep. Fox and his partners began conducting surveillance in August. The group would routinely split between three cars; one car would arrange the positions of explosives, while the other two recorded the route to Whitmer’s home via a camera on their dashboards. Fox and Croft researched surrounding police departments to calculate response time and formulate their escape route. The informant described the deliberate research and messaging amongst the group, one suggestion of destroying the connecting bridge to Whitmer’s home to prevent police invasion.

On the weekend of September 12, the group took an overnight road trip to further explore the bridge explosion. Using the same camera-dashboard strategy as before, members surveyed different viewpoints of the bridge and its surrounding areas. September 13, Fox received a $4,000 quote for the explosives and immediately began raising money as it was vital to execute the plan before election day. On October 2, Fox purchased an 800,000-volt taser for the abduction and scheduled to pick up the explosives on October 7. The plot to kidnap Governor Whitmer ended when the state and federal authorities raided on October 6.

As of October 21, fourteen men have been arrested on account of the plot to kidnap Governor Whitmer. Seven of the Wolverine Watchmen have been charged in the Michigan state court with support for terrorism and firearm possession while committing a felony. Six of the men have federal charges of conspiracy of kidnapping. Currently, all of the defendants based in Michigan remain jailed.