Final Defendant Sentenced in 2020 Plot to Kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Gets Over 19 Years in Prison

Department of Justice

Barry Croft was sentenced to 19 years for his role in the 2020 plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Adam Fox was sentenced to 16 years in prison for his involvement, Ty Garbin received 30 months and Kaleb Franks received four years.

The final defendant who was charged with conspiracy in the 2020 plot to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has been sentenced to 19 years in prison, the Department of Justice announced Wednesday.

Barry Croft Jr., 47, of Bear, Delaware, was sentenced Wednesday to 235 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release for conspiracy to kidnap Whitmer in the summer of 2020, officials said.

He was also convicted of conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction against persons or property, and knowingly possessing an unregistered destructive device, which was a commercial firework refashioned with shrapnel to serve as a hand-grenade, the Department of Justice announced in a press release.

Croft was convicted by a federal jury in August 2022 during an 11-day retrial.

Croft and others intended to kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer from her vacation home near Elk Rapids, Michigan, and to use the destructive devices to facilitate their plot by harming and hindering the governor’s security detail and any responding law enforcement officers, according to court documents the Department of Justice announced.

The DOJ says that Croft and his cohorts were specifically explored placing a bomb under an interstate overpass near a pedestrian boardwalk.

A jury in Croft's earlier trial was unable to reach a verdict, however, when he was retried in August 2022, he was found guilty.

Croft is the final defendant to be sentenced for his role in the plot.

On Tuesday, Adam Fox, 39, of Wyoming, Michigan, was sentenced to 16 years in prison for his involvement in the plot to kidnap Whitmer.

"Today’s sentence reflects the Department of Justice’s unwavering commitment to protecting our elected officials, law enforcement officers, and dedicated public servants from criminal threats and violence — and to holding the perpetrators of such acts fully accountable under the law," Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen of the Justice Department’s National Security Division said after Fox's sentencing was announced. "Responding to domestic terrorism has been a priority for the Department of Justice since its founding. Rest assured: we will spare no effort to disrupt plots like these and hold those responsible accountable to the law."

Croft is the fourth and final of the four defendant who have been convicted in the plot to be sentenced.

Kaleb Franks, 28, of Waterford, Michigan, received a term of four years in prison in October after pleading guilty and testifying at both trials.

Ty Garbin, 27, of Hartland, Michigan, pleaded guilty in January 2021 and initially received a sentence of 75 months, or over six years, in prison. That sentence was later reduced to a term of 30 months, or two-and-a-half years in prison, after authorities took into consideration his cooperation at both trials.

Co-defendants Daniel Harris and Brandon Caserta were both acquitted.

Croft’s attorney says he will be filing an appeal.

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