Suspect in Whitmer kidnapping plot pleads guilty

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer speaks at a National Guard event in Lansing, January 1, 2019. Photo by 1st Lt. Andrew Layton, U.S. Air National Guard/Public Domain

One of the 14 suspects accused of participating in a plot to kidnap Michigan’s governor has entered a guilty plea.

According to WXYZ-TV, Ty Garbin, 25, has agreed to plead guilty to a charge of conspiracy to commit kidnapping.

The plot to kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer was uncovered during an FBI raid in Michigan last October. The FBI reported that members of a militia had planned to kidnap Whitmer and have her “stand trial” for treason.

Members were apparently angry with Whitmer after she announced executive measures designed to slow the spread of COVID-19.

According to court documents obtained by the television station, Garbin agreed to plead guilty to kidnapping conspiracy. It also indicated that he understood the seriousness of the offence and that he may be subjected to paying full restitution.

“The defendant agrees to fully cooperate with the federal government in the seizure and forfeiture of assets, to include any property constituting, or derived from, any proceeds obtained directly or indirectly, as the result of the offence of conviction for kidnapping conspiracy,” read the document.

Ty Garbin. Photo courtesy Kent County, Michigan Jail.

Ty Garbin. Photo courtesy Kent County, Michigan Jail.

Garbin’s lawyer had stated previously that while Garbin disliked the governor and her policies, he never planned to go along with the plot or hurt Whitmer.

Garbin could face up to life in prison, a $250,000 fine, and/or five years’ supervised release once he is sentenced, the court papers said. Garbin will also cooperate with investigators in exchange for a potentially lighter sentence. His agreement could include having him testify against others accused in the plot.

The Detroit Free Press reported Wednesday that Garbin had been employed as an airline mechanic and lived in Wixom, northwest of Detroit.

The FBI alleged that militia members were in active training on land that Garbin owned in northern Lower Michigan, not far from Whitmer’s summer home.

Additional security measures were put in place this past fall at the governor’s official residence in Lansing, as well as at the State Capitol.