Michigan kidnap plot testimony: A federal informant's front-seat scare

October 17, 2020, 10:40 AM

An alleged plotter was videotaped by a federal informant during weapons training, as shown in evidence released late Friday.

An informant had a terrifying experience the day FBI agents arrested four of the men accused of plotting violence against Gretchen Whitmer.

Testimony at a Grand Rapids bond hearing describes a chilling moment as the undercover infiltrator rode with Daniel Harris and other alleged kidnap conspirators, Michigan Radio posts.

Reporter-producer Dustin Dwyer sets the scene:

Daniel Harris seemed nervous. It was Oct. 7, and he was in the back seat on the road to see "Red," [an] explosives expert who was going to show the group some new gear and possibly take a down payment on enough explosives to destroy a bridge.

Harris, a Marine Corps veteran, played with his semi-automatic pistol during the ride, loading, unloading, clicking the trigger, reloading, unloading and clicking again.

The man in the driver seat was a man Harris thought he knew well, a man who’d been along for this alleged plot almost since the beginning. What Harris didn’t know is the man was also a confidential informant for the FBI. And the man he was taking them to meet was an undercover agent.

Alleged plot leader Adam Fox, 37, videotaped himself in a vacuum shop basement where he lived. (Photo from U.S. Attorney's Office video)

Now imagine the movie-like moment Dwyer reports next, based on federal court testimony by FBI agent Richard Trask:

The man in the front seat told Harris to stop playing with his gun. Instead, Harris pointed it at his head, and held it there.

"Get that thing away from me," the informant finally snapped, according to FBI agent Trask. ...

That day, a Wednesday, the alleged plot to kidnap Michigan’s governor came to an end.

Adam Fox, Ty Garbin, Harris and Kaleb Frank were arrested at the spot where they thought they were meeting "Red." Brandon Caserta was picked up at his job. Barry Croft was arrested in Delaware.

All are held without bond on domestic terrorism charges and other count that could bring life sentences.

Related today:

Photo Evidence Released in Whitmer Kidnap Plot 

Read more:  Michigan Radio

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