At least one additional person has been charged in the alleged plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, according to the state’s attorney general’s office.
The newest defendant—the eighth charged by Attorney General Dana Nessel—brings the total number of state and federal defendants in the case to 14.
Six men have been charged federally in the plot; all face up to life in prison if convicted. Eight others have been charged on the state level; they face a minimum of 20 years in prison if convicted.
Authorities said the group, which included members of the Wolverine Watchmen militia, plotted to abduct Whitmer on her way to or from her vacation home, because they thought she was acting like a tyrant by imposing harsh restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The alleged conspirators used operational security measures, including communicating by encrypted messaging platforms and used code words and phrases in an attempt to avoid detection by law enforcement. Among other activities, members of this conspiracy on two occasions conducted coordinated surveillance on the governor’s vacation home,” U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan Andrew Birge told reporters last week.
Whitmer, a Democrat, has referred to the men as “sick and depraved.”
Three of the suspects were denied bond on Oct. 13 after defense lawyers argued the group merely talked big but did little to act on their discussions.