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Undercover agent testifies in trial of Gov. Whitmer kidnap plot

Whitmer cropped
Posted at 11:48 AM, Mar 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-28 11:48:04-04

The trial of four men charged with conspiring to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer continues this week.

An FBI agent who was working undercover says two key people in the plot to kidnap Michigan's governor were excited to get their hands on explosives.

Tim Bates testified Monday in federal court in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on the 11th day of trial.

Prosecutors will also present any evidence they have left.

Four men are charged with conspiring to kidnap Whitmer in 2020.

The government says they were armed extremists angry over Whitmer's COVID-19 policies.

In summer 2020, Bates was working undercover as “Red.”

He fooled the group into believing that he knew someone in the mining industry who could get high-grade explosives.

Last week, the prosecution had two star witnesses take the stand – both men who pleaded guilty to plotting to kidnap Whitmer.

They were Ty Garbin and Caleb Franks.

Both took plea deals and agreed to testify against Adam Fox, Barry Croft Jr., Daniel Harris and Brandon Caserta.

Evidence shows all six men were involved in the plan.

On the stand, Franks admitted he didn't tell officers he was a drug user until after taking the plea deal. That's something that could tack on prison time to his deal.

Under Garbin's plea deal, he would serve six years in prison, but it could be less because of his testimony.

The four men on trial are facing life in prison.

Fox is the accused ring leader, and his attorney questioned Franks about getting off easier due to cooperation with the feds.

Franks also testified that when he was arrested with the group in October 2020, the whole plot was just role play known as LARPing. He said they were never actually going to do it.

Alex Bozarjian at WXYZ in Detroit contributed to this report.