Man pleads guilty in conspiracy to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

Man pleads guilty in conspiracy to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

A Livingston County man charged with conspiring to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has entered a guilty plea.

As part of the plea agreement between Andrew Birge, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of MI, and Ty Garbin, 25, the government will not bring further charges against Garbin related to the alleged plot.

According to the agreement, Garbin will continue to cooperate with prosecutors against the five other defendants, all of whom have pleaded not guilty to kidnapping conspiracy.

In exchange, prosecutors agreed to recommend a sentence lesser than the maximum carried by the charge, which would have been life in prison.

Garbin's guilty plea is a major catch for prosecutors, only about four months after arrests were made. Sentencing is scheduled for July 8.

According to a new court filing, Garbin met the accused ringleader, Adam Fox of Potterville, at a Second Amendment rally in Lansing in June.

Read the full plea agreement below. Six people were charged in federal court while eight others were charged in state court with aiding the alleged scheme. Evidence showed the Garbin also urged "zero" public interaction if they wanted to continue with their plans and on October 7, he met with an undercover Federal Bureau of Investigation agent with co-defendants to make a down payment on explosives. He said he and others trained with weapons in Munith, Michigan, and Cambria, Wisconsin, last summer and "discussed the plan to storm the Capitol and kidnap the governor". Garbin said the group conducted surveillance of the home in August, posting photographs and video of the house on an encrypted group chat.

Garbin's guilty plea would be a swift resolution for prosecutors, just almost four months after the arrests.

Garbin said he sent a text message to someone who turned out to be a government informant, indicating that "if the bridge goes down it will stop the wave", a suggestion that police would be delayed in responding to a kidnapping if a nearby bridge was blown up.

A "big talk" defense had emerged last fall as a strategy for the six men. Garbin, along with Daniel Harris, Kaleb Franks and Brandon Caserta, were members of the Michigan-based "militia" group Wolverine Watchmen.

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