Dec 15, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Three sentenced to prison over plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Whitmer

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D) in East Lansing, Michigan, in November 2022.

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D) in East Lansing, Michigan, in November 2022. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Three men found guilty of participating in a 2020 plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) were sentenced to prison on Thursday, the Associated Press reports.

Why it matters: In October, the men — Joe Morrison, Pete Musico and Paul Bellar — were convicted of providing material support to a terrorist act, which carries a maximum term of 20 years.

  • The federal government charged six men in October 2020 over the plot. Morrison, Musico and Bellar were among seven other men charged by Michigan's attorney general for allegedly helping to plan it.
  • Morrison, Musico and Bellar were also found guilty of gun violations and membership in a gang. They had been members of a paramilitary group known as the Wolverine Watchmen.

By the numbers: Musico received a sentence of 12 years in prison. Morrison was given a 10-year sentence, and Bellar got seven years.

The big picture: The FBI started tracking the conspiracy to kidnap Whitmer and violently attack and overthrow the state government in early 2020 through social media platforms and ultimately disbanded it.

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