First Of Two Convicted At Trial In Michigan Governor Kidnapping Plot Sentenced To 16 Years In Prison
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Michigan
GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN – A Michigan man was sentenced today to 16 years in prison followed by five years of supervised release for conspiracy to kidnap the Governor of Michigan and conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction against persons or property.
Adam Fox, 39, of Wyoming, Michigan, and co-conspirator Barry Croft Jr., 47, of Bear, Delaware, were convicted by a federal jury in August 2022 during an 11-day retrial. According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Fox and Croft intended to kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer from her vacation cottage near Elk Rapids, Michigan, and use the destructive devices to facilitate their plot by harming and hindering the governor’s security detail and any responding law enforcement officers. They specifically explored placing a bomb under an interstate overpass near a pedestrian boardwalk. Croft was also convicted of possessing an improvised explosive device, which was a commercial firework refashioned with shrapnel to serve as a hand-grenade. A jury in an earlier trial was unable to reach a verdict.
Fox faced up to life in prison for his convictions. The Hon. Robert J. Jonker, District Judge, determined the ultimate sentence after evaluating the applicable federal Sentencing Guidelines, and considering the statutory sentencing factors, including the nature and circumstances of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; the seriousness of the offense; and the need to promote respect for the law, to provide just punishment, and protect the public from future crimes of the defendant.
“Mr. Fox, and his confederate Mr. Croft, were convicted by a jury of masterminding a plot to kidnap the Governor of Michigan and to use weapons of mass destruction against responding law enforcement,” said Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen of the Justice Department’s National Security Division. “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.”
“Today, Mr. Fox learned his fate. For his role in the plot to kidnap the Governor and trigger further violence, he will serve a long term in prison,” said Former U.S. Attorney Andrew Birge for the Western District of Michigan, appointed to oversee the trial. “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.”
Fox is the third to be sentenced of four conspirators convicted in the plot. Croft is scheduled to be sentenced tomorrow.
Co-defendant 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. The district court later reduced the sentence to a term of 30 months, or two and a half years in prison, after fully considering his cooperation at both trials. Kaleb Franks, 28, of Waterford, Michigan, received a term of four years in prison after pleading guilty and testifying at both trials. Co-defendants Daniel Harris and Brandon Caserta were acquitted at the first trial in April 2022.
The FBI’s Detroit Field Office investigated the case with valuable assistance provided by the FBI’s Baltimore Field Office and the Joint Terrorism Task Force, including Michigan State Police and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Michigan charged the case and conducted the trials, with valuable assistance provided by the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section.
Updated December 27, 2022