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Judge sentences another leader in the plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to a long federal prison term

U.S. Attorneys Office For The Western District Of Michigan
Barry Croft of Delaware at an event in Wisconsin in 2020 where an undercover FBI informant captured audio recordings.

A federal judge Wednesday sentenced the man described as “the ideas guy” in the Whitmer kidnapping plot to nearly 20 years in prison.

Barry Croft was a Delaware truck driver who became involved with others angry at the government.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Nils Kessler says Croft was a “spiritual leader” for the kidnap plotters, telling them, “God has authorized them to kill people.”

Kessler says Croft and the others wanted to change the government by force.

Federal and state law enforcement agents arrested more than a dozen men in October of 2020 before the plotters could act. Police also seized a large cache of weapons and other tools the group planned to use to kidnap the governor.

Croft is the second convicted kidnap plotter sentenced this week. Tuesday, the plot’s alleged ring leader, Adam Fox, was sentenced to 16 years in federal prison.

In addition to Croft and Fox, two other defendants took plea deals in exchange for their testimony, and two more were acquitted.

Three other men were convicted on state charges. Five additional defendants are expected to face trial next year.