Ringleader of US governor’s kidnapping plot gets 16 years

One of the two ringleaders of a far-right U.S. militia group that plotted the kidnapping and assassination of Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was sentenced Tuesday to 16 years in prison, the Justice Department said.

Adam Fox, 39, along with co-defendant Barry Croft, 47, was convicted in August of conspiracy to plot the kidnapping of the Democratic governor and prepare to use weapons of mass destruction in the 2020 conspiracy.

He and several other members of the militia, including an FBI informant, planned the attack on Whitmer partly in response to their Covid-19 quarantine policy, but also to start a civil war, they had said.

The conspiracy involved kidnapping Whitmer from her vacation home near Elk Rapids, Michigan, and using improvised bombs to target security officers to help them escape, according to the Justice Department.

Fox potentially faced a life sentence but was sentenced to 16 years in prison.

Croft is due to be sentenced on Wednesday.

“Today’s ruling reflects the Justice Department’s unwavering commitment to protecting our elected officers, law enforcement officials and dedicated public servants from criminal threats and violence,” Assistant Attorney General Matthew Olsen said in a statement.

The verdict came 12 days after three others involved in the conspiracy were sentenced to between seven and 12 years in prison for their roles in a Michigan state court, where they had been charged with domestic terrorism.

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