A Michigan militia member accused of plotting to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer pleaded guilty to federal charges on Wednesday and agreed to testify against his alleged co-conspirators.
Ty Garbin, 25, an airplane mechanic from Hartland Township in Livingston County, pleaded guilty to a federal kidnapping conspiracy charge punishable by up to life in prison with no parole in front of U.S. District Judge Robert Jonker in Grand Rapids.
Garbin was arrested in October and charged with a plot to kidnap Whitmer and either strand her on a boat in the middle of Lake Michigan or put her on trial in another state. Prosecutors alleged defendants called the governor a “tyrant” for imposing stay-at-home restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
He is among 13 total militia members facing federal and state charges in the plot prosecutors allege involved surveillance of Whitmer’s vacation home in northern Michigan, plans to buy $4,000 worth of explosives and firearms training at a property Garbin owned near Luther in Lake County.
Court documents allege Garbin was a member of the Wolverine Watchmen and met the accused leader of the group, Adam Fox, at a Second Amendment Rally outside the state Capitol in June. Prosecutors said Fox initially planned to recruit 200 men to storm the Capitol and capture politicians to put them on trial on television.
Garbin’s trial is scheduled to begin on March 23.