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Wisconsin man pleads guilty to involvement in 2020 plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

A Wisconsin man pleaded guilty Wednesday to his role in a plot to kidnap Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in 2020.

Brian Higgins of Wisconsin Dells admitted to aiding in the plot by watching Whitmer’s vacation home in County Antrim.

The 54-year-old man had originally been arrested for providing material support to an act of terrorism, a 20-year felony.

He pleaded guilty to one count of attempting to provide material support to terrorism, a lesser charge. His plea agreement saw his charges reduced and he now faces up to five years in prison if convicted.

“I wish to plead guilty,” Higgins told the judge in a virtual court appearance.

As part of the deal, Higgins agreed to cooperate with prosecutors and “to testify candidly against the other remaining defendants regarding their role in the plot,” the Michigan Attorney General’s Department said in a news release.

He was one of five individuals charged with providing support to the conspiracy plan. They are scheduled to face trial in northern Michigan later this year.

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More than a dozen people were accused of participating in an attempted kidnapping of the Democratic governor in October 2020.

Three defendants were found guilty in Jackson County in December and are now serving lengthy prison terms.

Federal prosecutors also filed charges against six other people. Four of them, including the alleged leaders Barry Croft Jr. and Adam Fox, were convicted, while two were acquitted.

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer delivers her State of the State address to a joint session of the House and Senate, Wednesday, January 25, 2023, at the state capitol in Lansing, Michigan.

“Anti-government extremism poses a threat to the safety of public officials, law enforcement officers and residents across our state,” Attorney General Dana Nessel said in a statement.

“My department’s Hate Crimes and Domestic Terrorism Unit is working around the clock to ensure that those who attempt to sow discord and commit violence in Michigan are stopped before their plots can do any harm. We will continue to fight for justice as the remaining prosecutions continue,” she added.

Higgins will not be sentenced by Judge Charles Hamlyn until after the trial of his four co-defendants in August. They could face up to 20 years if convicted on the terrorism charge.

with cable news services

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