Man pleads guilty to assisting in plot to kidnap Michigan governor

Fix appeared in an Antrim County court, one of five people charged in that leg of the investigation.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer delivers her State of the State address to a joint session of the House and Senate, Jan. 25, 2023, at the state Capitol in Lansing, Mich.

BELLAIRE, Mich. (AP) — A man accused of assisting the leaders in a plot to kidnap Michigan’s governor pleaded guilty Wednesday, the ninth conviction in state and federal courts since agents broke up an astonishing scheme by anti-government rebels in 2020.

Shawn Fix said he provided material support for an act of terrorism, namely the strategy to snatch Gov. Gretchen Whitmer at her vacation home in Antrim County. Prosecutors agreed to drop a weapon charge.

Prosecutors have said they had evidence that Fix trained with a militia, the Wolverine Watchmen, for “politically motivated violence” and hosted a five-hour meeting at his Belleville home where there was much discussion about kidnapping Whitmer.

Fix, 40, helped plot leader Adam Fox pinpoint the location of Whitmer’s second home, key information that was used for a 2020 ride to find the property in northern Michigan, prosecutors said in a court filing.

Fix appeared in an Antrim County court, one of five people charged in that leg of the investigation. A co-defendant pleaded guilty to a lesser charge in March, leaving three other men to face trial in August.

The main kidnapping conspiracy case was handled in federal court, where four men were convicted, including ringleaders Fox and Barry Croft Jr. Two others were acquitted.

Separately, three men were convicted at trial in Jackson County, the site of militia training, and are serving long prison terms.

Whitmer, a Democrat, was targeted as part of a broad effort by anti-government extremists to trigger a civil war around the time of the 2020 presidential election, investigators said. Her COVID-19 policies, which shut down schools and restricted the economy, were deeply scorned.

But informants and undercover FBI agents were inside the group for months, leading to arrests in October 2020. Whitmer was not physically harmed.

After the plot was thwarted, Whitmer blamed then-President Donald Trump, saying he had given “comfort to those who spread fear and hatred and division.” Last August, after 19 months out of office, Trump called the kidnapping plan a “fake deal.”