A Wisconsin Dells man has been charged in the alleged plot to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer.
Brian Higgins, 51, is charged by the Michigan Attorney General’s Office with material support of an act of terrorism – a 20-year felony. Higgins was arrested Oct. 15 in Wisconsin and will be extradited to Michigan to be arraigned in Antrim County 86th District Court on the charge, according to the release posted on the Michigan Attorney General’s Office website. Court dates have not been scheduled.
According to the affidavit, Higgins was one of the individuals who allegedly aided physical surveillance of the Governor’s private vacation home. Higgins, while on a nighttime surveillance of the home, allegedly provided the use of his night-vision goggles for the surveillance. Additionally, he allegedly used a mounted digital dash camera located in his vehicle to record the surveillance of the Governor’s home in order to aid in kidnapping plans.
Higgins is the eighth person charged in the alleged plot to kidnap Whitmer at her vacation home. The Attorney General’s office charged seven other men after the execution of multiple search and arrest warrants Oct. 7 in a joint operation with the U.S. Attorneys of the Eastern and Western districts of Michigan, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Michigan State Police.
The alleged militia group also allegedly spent a weekend conducting firearms and combat training on roughly two acres near a residence in the town of Courtland.
Including this latest charge against Higgins, a total of 20 state felony charges were filed by Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel against eight individuals known to be members of the militia group Wolverine Watchmen or associates of Wolverine Watchmen. Federal charges were also filed against six other individuals.
All but one of the six defendants charged last week have been arraigned and are in custody in Michigan jails. Paul Bellar is facing extradition from South Carolina where he was arrested. He is scheduled to be picked up from South Carolina by Oct. 27.
Charges for all the individuals may change as investigators review evidence gathered during the execution of the search warrants. Details will not be provided until the investigation is complete or until evidence is revealed in court.
The suspects were alleged to have called on members of the Wolverine Watchmen and associates to identify the home addresses of law enforcement officers in order to target them and made threats of violence to instigate a civil war leading to societal collapse.
At least some of the defendants participated in various demonstrations at the Michigan Capitol building over the past several months.
Follow Erica Dynes on Twitter @EDynes_CapNews or contact her at 608-393-5346.
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