Advance Notice: Briefs

2nd Whitmer kidnapping suspect pleads guilty, denies being entrapped

By: - February 10, 2022 8:13 am

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer | Whitmer office photo

A Waterford Township man pleaded guilty Wednesday to federal conspiracy charges for plotting to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and said he was not entrapped by FBI agents and informants.

Kaleb Franks | Kent County Jail photo

Kaleb Franks, 27, is the second suspect to plead guilty and agree to testify against the four remaining suspects. He faces up to life in prison but will likely serve far less time for helping prosecutors.

Ty Garbin, who pleaded guilty last year, was sentenced to six years in prison. He also cut a deal in which he agreed to testify against the other suspects.

The trial is expected to begin next month for the four remaining suspects — Brandon Caserta, 33, of Canton Township; Barry Croft, 46, of Delaware; Adam Fox, 38, of Potterville; and Daniel Harris, 24, of Lake Orion. During the trial, the suspects are expected to claim they were entrapped by FBI agents and informants.

But Franks’ insistence that the group hatched the plot on their own poses a serious problem for the remaining suspects.

During Wednesday’s hearing, U.S. Magistrate Judge Phillip Green asked Franks, “Did any law enforcement officers suggest kidnapping the governor?” the Detroit News reports.

Franks responded, “No sir.”

In the plea deal filed Monday, Franks said he was not aware of anyone being entrapped.

“The defendant also knows Fox, Croft, Harris and Caserta were not entrapped, based on personal observation and discussions,” the plea deal reads.

This story first ran in the Detroit Metro Times. Subscribe to their newsletters, and follow them on Google News, Apple News, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Reddit.

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Steve Neavling
Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling is an award-winning investigative journalist with the Detroit Metro Times. He operated Motor City Muckraker, an online news site devoted to exposing abuses of power and holding public officials accountable. Neavling also hosted Muckraker Report on 910AM from September 2017 to July 2018. Before launching Motor City Muckraker, Neavling was a five-year veteran of the Detroit Free Press, covering Detroit’s city hall.