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Fox, Croft found guilty in Whitmer kidnapping plot

Adam Fox, of Grand Rapids, was one of two men found guilty earlier this week in a plot to kidnap Governor Whitmer in 2020. 

By Bruce Walker | The Center Square Aug 23, 2022

(The Center Square) – Adam Fox and Barry Croft were found guilty Tuesday of conspiracy to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in 2020.

After eight hours of deliberation, the jury also found Fox, of Grand Rapids, and Croft, of Delaware, guilty of conspiring to obtain and use weapons of mass destruction. Croft was also declared guilty on another explosives charge. Another pair of defendants, Ty Garbin and Kaleb Franks, had already pleaded guilty to charges brought against them. Garbin and Franks cooperated as witnesses in the Fox and Croft trial.

It was the second trial for Fox and Croft after a mistrial was declared last April. In the first trial, a jury found two other defendants, Brandon Caserta, 33, and Daniel Harris, 24, not guilty of all charges against them, but could not reach a unanimous verdict for Fox and Croft.

The case garnered national headlines after Whitmer accused the rhetoric of then-President Donald Trump for inspiring the plot against her. It was later revealed that FBI agents paid some of the informants of the plot approximately $80,000 and had engaged in questionable, sometimes salacious, activities themselves.

According to the prosecution, the men were retaliating against the governor’s COVID-19 restrictions by plotting to kidnap and possibly murder Whitmer. The plot allegedly included buying a bomb to obliterate a bridge to slow first responders during the kidnappers’ getaway. The men, however, didn’t carry through on buying the $4,000 bomb from another FBI informant.

For its part, the defense argued their clients were merely frustrated and angry men with big mouths, a penchant for alcohol and marijuana, which helped fuel their “stoned crazy talk.”  Further, they alleged, the men were entrapped by the FBI and its well-funded informants.

“Those who threaten the lives of public officials must be held accountable. No one should have to forfeit their safety or that of their loved ones in exchange for pursuing public service,” Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said in a statement. “If domestic terrorists are allowed to get away with acts of violence against the people’s representatives, they may soon turn that violence on our communities and residents. Today’s verdict is a victory for the rule of law and a significant defeat for domestic terrorism. I have a zero-tolerance for such acts and look forward to pursuing the state’s cases in court.”   

Another 10 men face jury trial in state court this fall.

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