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Videos, texts and photos from suspects in Whitmer plot released

Last week, a judge ruled the evidence was enough to move the case toward trial.
Credit: U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Michigan

Evidence primarily captured by informants and used by the FBI to foil an alleged plot to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was released by the government Friday.

Videos, photos and screenshots of encrypted messages provided by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Michigan shows suspects conducting training and discussing details of the alleged terrorist act. Things that their attorneys have argued were not illegal in of themselves. 

At the core was dissatisfaction with government and restrictions tied to the coronavirus pandemic. More than 200 state and federal law enforcement officials were involved in the investigations, which lasted several months and spanned several states.

RELATED: Judge: Cases against 5 in Whitmer kidnapping plot can move forward

Five Michigan men are facing federal charges tied to the plot, including Adam Fox, Ty Garbin, Kaleb Franks, Daniel Harris and Brandon Caserta. A sixth man named Barry Croft has also been charged and will be transported to Michigan from Delaware. Other men are facing state charges for their alleged roles in the plan. 

Defense attorneys for the men have argued what the evidence displays is "loose talk" saying that the men were not going to act. 

"The devil is in the details. That's where we fully expect a lot of the things we heard about our client today is going to be disavowed and overturned," said attorney Mark Satawa, who is representing Garbin, after the Oct. 16 hearing.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kessler called the notion absurd, later stating, "These people got caught because they're amateurs and didn't talk things through, not because it wasn't a dangerous plan."

Credit: 13 ON YOUR SIDE

Last week, U.S. Magistrate Judge Sally Berens said there was enough evidence to send the five men's cases to a grand jury.

Fox, seen in the video above, is said to be one of the purported orchestraters of the plan. According to a criminal complaint, Fox told an informant he planned to use a Taser in the kidnapping. 

RELATED: 'Are you freaking kidding me?' Shop owner shocked by ties to Whitmer kidnapping plot

Credit: U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Michigan

Screenshots of encrypted messages also reveal the group's concern when a police officer questioned one of the men's old roommates.

Credit: U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Michigan

Other evidence included photos of the men conducting surveillance of the governor's vacation home and a hand drawn map of the property. 

Credit: U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Michigan

Other messages indicate the group's consensus on keeping a low public profile as their planning intensified. 

According to the criminal complaint, Fox had said he wanted to carry out the plan prior to the Nov. 3 election. 

Another video shows Caserta talking about killing any law enforcement officers who stand in their way. 

"I'm sick of being robbed and enslaved by the state. Period. I'm sick of it," he said. "And these are the guys who are actually doing it."

The men's cases will next go before a grand jury. 


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