Whitmer kidnapping case defendant alleges informants 'repeatedly' pressured him to participate

Informants saw Fox's "chronic marijuana use" over the course of four months, and the agents would still pressure him.

Updated: February 23, 2022 - 5:39am

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The lead defendant in the alleged plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer "repeatedly" expressed that he did not want to participate in the conspiracy despite "persistent" pressure and "manipulation" by FBI informants, according to a court filing.

Adam Fox faces charges in relation to the kidnapping conspiracy and attempting to obtain a weapon of mass destruction. His attorneys wrote in a filing last week that he plans on using the defense of entrapment in court and pointed to Fox's drug use and statements against extremism in addition to the influence of government agents.

Fox and three other men, Barry Croft, Daniel Harris and Brandon Caserta, face charges in the Western District of Michigan Southern Division Court of conspiring to kidnap Whitmer. Fox, Croft and Harris face additional charges of conspiring to use an explosive device in the kidnapping plot. 

Fox's defense argued in the latest filing that he "lacked the predisposition to commit a kidnapping or use a weapon of mass destruction and his participation was induced by persistent and repeated pressure and manipulation by government informants."

His attorneys admitted that Fox identified with the "Boogaloo" movement, but said the pro-gun movement "is more of a collection of economic and social ideas than it is an actual organized group."

In an undercover FBI recording of a meeting, Fox urged attendees to take steps to "address the negative perception that they are violent, destructive, 'domestic terrorists,'" defense attorneys wrote.

Informants saw Fox's "chronic marijuana use" over the course of four months, and the agents would still pressure him "regardless of his condition," according to the filing.

At one meeting, an agent proposed a "snatch and grab" of Whitmer, and Fox, who was high, said the move would "devastate the community." He reiterated that point later in the meeting.

Many of the meetings held about the kidnapping involved a significant number of undercover informants. For example, at a July 18, 2020, meeting, of the 21 attendees, "at least five were actively cooperating with the FBI." The meeting was also recorded by more than one informant. Another meeting that month was attended by ten people working with the government.

Prosecutors also filed a list last week of more than 400 exhibits for the trial of those charged with conspiring to kidnap Whitmer.

Prosecuting attorneys also requested for a judge to allow FBI undercovers to use ​​pseudonyms when they testify in the case charging four men with conspiracy to kidnap Whitmer, a Democrat.

A federal judge last month refused to dismiss the case.

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