US militia member sentenced to 19 years in kidnapping plot | The Far Right News

Prosecutors have asked for a life sentence for Barry Croft Jr for his part in a plot to kidnap the governor of Michigan.

A US judge has sentenced a militia member accused of helping to master a kidnapping plot Governor of Michigan with more than 19 years in prison, the last in a series of sentencing trials related to this conspiracy.

Barry Croft Jr, a member of the far-right Three Percenters militia, was convicted Wednesday after being found guilty of conspiracy and possession of unregistered explosives. Another participant and militia member, Adam foxreceived a 16-year sentence for Tuesday.

“Although he may not have hierarchical control over all other participants, he [Croft] coordinated and facilitated the execution of the conspiracy from its inception to its final stages,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Nils Kessler said in court filings.

Croft is the fourth and final federal defendant in the case to be sentenced, part of a series of arrests that have brought attention to the growing threat of far-right militia groups in the United States. Prosecutors described Croft and Fox as the leaders of a campaign they hoped would trigger a “second American revolution”.

Prosecutors said the group planned to kidnap Gretchen Whitmer, the Democratic governor of Michigan, from her vacation home in 2020 to put her on a mock “trial” on charges of treason and possible fraud. possibility of her execution.

Members of the group protested against the public health measures introduced under Whitmer to combat the spread of COVID-19.

Croft and Fox were also found guilty of planning to use an explosive device that prosecutors said would be used to obstruct law enforcement’s response to the kidnapping. In addition to the 16-year prison sentence, Fox was released on supervised release for five years.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the US domestic intelligence agency, had a hand in this group, and 13 peopleincluding Croft and Fox, were charged in October 2020 in connection with the conspiracy.

Croft was convicted along with Fox in August on conspiracy charges at a trial in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Another grand jury in Grand Rapids failed to reach a verdict against Croft and Cox in its first trial earlier this year and acquitted two others.

Prosecutors sought life sentences for both Croft and Fox. Croft’s attorney, Joshua Blanchard, downplayed the client’s central role in the conspiracy, saying he was “a lower-level participant than others”.

Whitmer has openly argued with former US President Donald Trump over public health policies in her state to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and Trump is accused of contributing to the spread of COVID-19. hostile environment through his repeated attacks on Whitmer.

In April 2020, when crowds including armed militia members gathered in the Michigan state capital to call for an end to social distancing measures, Trump called on his followers to “liberate “Michigan.

Months later, chants of “lock her up” broke out at a Trump campaign rally in response to his criticism of Whitmer.

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