In trial for Whitmer kidnap plot, attorneys say defendants plied with drugs by FBI sources

Defense attorneys are arguing clients are victims of federal entrapment

Updated: March 10, 2022 - 10:27am

Defense attorneys for the four men accused of attempting to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said in the first day of the trial that FBI agents and sources used illicit drugs and "parlor tricks" to illegally entrap their clients.

The trial of Brandon Caserta, Barry Croft Jr., Adam Fox, and Daniel Harris began Wednesday as federal prosecutors and defense attorneys delivered opening statements in the domestic terrorism case.

The men are charged with plotting to kidnap the Democrat governor in 2020 over what they considered her overreaching  COVID-19 restrictions.

Two other men have already pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges.

But defense attorneys are arguing that their clients are victims of federal entrapment.

An attorney for Croft argued the FBI "had decide to pursue the case as a Terrorism Enterprise Investigation "whether ... they got the facts or not."

Defense attorneys on Wednesday also attempted to portray their clients as braggarts incapable of plotting and carrying out a kidnapping. 

They allegedly has a plan to blow up a bridge near Whitmer's home to derail law enforcement efforts to foil the kidnapping. 

The Assistant U.S. Attorney on the case, Jonathan Roth, argued that providing individuals with the opportunity to commit a crime does not create a case of entrapment.

The evidence, Roth said, will show that the defendants were "willing, eager, if not already preparing" to kidnap Whitmer. 

One defense attorney informed the jury that an FBI information regularly supplied the men with marijuana before beginning to "selectively" record their conversations.