BELLAIRE — A 14th man will face charges stemming from a plot investigators claim targeted Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, several law enforcement officials and other politicians.
A warrant was issued for 51-year-old Wisconsin resident Brian Higgins on Tuesday, 86th District Court records show. He'll face a charge of providing support for an act of terrorism, a felony carrying a maximum sentence of 20 years behind bars, according to a statement released by Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel's office Thursday afternoon.
Higgins was arrested in Wisconsin on Thursday, and will be extradited to Michigan, according to the AG statement. An arraignment has yet to be scheduled.
Michigan Attorney General’s Office spokesman Ryan Jarvi, a short time before sending a press release, confirmed Higgins would be the 14th person to face charges after a months-long investigation that involved both the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the Michigan State Police.
The men, including Higgins, are accused of spending months preparing for an assault on Whitmer’s northern Michigan home. A 15-page affidavit by FBI Special Agent Richard J. Trask II filed in U.S. District court describes a multi-state investigation by FBI agents and MSP investigators who employed both confidential informants and undercover personnel to record the group’s planning and training. Several of the men have ties to the militia group Wolverine Watchmen, according to court records.
Higgins is the eighth man to face in-state charges. The cases are being prosecuted by the Attorney General's Office. Six others face federal charges.
The investigation revealed plans to kidnap Whitmer from her vacation home in an assault that involved detonating a bomb beneath a nearby bridge, according to court filings. Once abducted, the plan was to take Whitmer to Wisconsin and hold a “mock trial” over what the men told investigators were the governor’s unconstitutional abuses of power, court documents show.
District Court records show Eric Molitor, of Cadillac, arraigned Oct. 8 on one count of providing material support for terrorist acts and two counts of felony firearms, has a preliminary exam scheduled Oct. 28. Three others charged in Antrim County in connection to the sting will appear on the same day for a joint preliminary exam, Attorney Paul Jarboe and 86th District Court Administrator Carol Stocking said earlier this month.
Higgins has no prior record in 86th District Court, records show.
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