Sun. Aug 1st, 2021
Michigan Gov. Whitmer
Share This Article

LANSING, MI – Months of work by multiple police agencies have put at least 7 people behind bars in a sinister plot to kidnap and kill Michigan’s Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Some of those arrested are facing charges that could put them in prison for the rest of their lives. A total of 13 people have been arrested so far. Further information is expected to be released.

In releasing the current information about the alleged plot, it has put Michigan and its residents in a glaring spotlight that highlights the political climate that the entire nation is experiencing at this time as the November Presidential election approaches. What adds to this disturbing conspiracy is that President Trump is fanning the flames by making negative commentary through Twitter and other means of communications about Gov. Whitmer.

The suspects, now under arrest, are alleged to have called on the groups’ members to identify the home addresses of law enforcement officers in order to target them; made threats of violence to instigate a civil war leading to societal collapse; and engaged in the planning and training for an operation to attack the state Capitol building and kidnap government officials, including Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. 

“There has been a disturbing increase in anti-government rhetoric and the re-emergence of groups that embrace extremist ideologies,” Attorney General Nessel said. “These groups often seek to recruit new members by seizing on a moment of civil unrest and using it to advance their agenda of self-reliance and armed resistance. This is more than just political disagreement or passionate advocacy, some of these groups’ mission is simply to create chaos and inflict harm upon others.” 

Through the efforts of more than 200 state and federal law enforcement officials  – including experts from outside of Michigan – officers executed a series of search warrants and arrest warrants in more than a dozen cities around the state, including, Belleville, Cadillac, Canton, Charlotte, Clarkston, Grand Rapids, Luther, Munith, Orion Township, Ovid, Portage, Shelby Township and Waterford.  

“Michigan law enforcement officers are united in our commitment to rooting out terrorism in any form and we will take swift action against anyone seeking to cause violence or harm in our state,” stated Col. Joe Gasper, director of the Michigan State Police. “Michigan residents can assist us in this mission by speaking up if you see suspicious activity or become aware of someone making threats. No tip is too small; don’t wait until it’s too late. Tips can be submitted confidentially 24/7 online at our website.” 

In total, 19 state felony charges were filed by the Attorney General against seven individuals known to be members of the militia group, Wolverine Watchmen or associates of Wolverine Watchmen. 

Six individuals were also charged by U.S. Attorney Birge with separate, federal felony charges as a result of the execution of the warrants. 

The following individuals were charged by Attorney General Nessel as part of the joint law enforcement effort: 

  • Paul Bellar, 21, of Milford:
    • Providing material support for terrorist acts – a 20-year felony and/or $20,000 fine;
    • Gang membership – a 20-year felony, which may be served as a consecutive sentence; and
    • Carrying or possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony; felony firearm – a two-year mandatory prison sentence to be served consecutively.
  • Shawn Fix, 38, of Belleville:
    • Providing material support for terrorist acts – a 20-year felony and/or $20,000 fine; and 
    • Carrying or possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony; felony firearm – a two-year mandatory prison sentence to be served consecutively.
  • Eric Molitor, 36, of Cadillac:
    • Providing material support for terrorist acts – a 20-year felony and/or $20,000 fine; and
    • Carrying or possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony; felony firearm – a two-year mandatory prison sentence to be served consecutively.
  • Michael Null, 38, of Plainwell:
    • Providing material support for terrorist acts – a 20-year felony and/or $20,000 fine; and
    • Carrying or possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony; felony firearm – a two-year mandatory prison sentence to be served consecutively.
  • William Null, 38, of Shelbyville:
    • Providing material support for terrorist acts – a 20-year felony and/or $20,000 fine; and
    • Carrying or possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony; felony firearm – a two-year mandatory prison sentence to be served consecutively.
  • Pete Musico, 42, and Joseph Morrison, 26, who live together in Munith:
    • One count each of threat of terrorism, a 20-year felony and/or $20,000 fine;
    • One count each of gang membership, a 20-year felony that may be served as a consecutive sentence;
    • One count each of providing material support for terrorist acts; and
    • One count each for carrying or possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony; felony firearm – a two-year mandatory prison sentence to be served consecutively. 

These charges are subject to change after a complete review of the evidence obtained through the warrants, and differ from those charges issued at the federal level.  

Michael Null, William Null and Molitor were arraigned today before Antrim County Magistrate Jessica Allmand. A cash bond of $250,000 was set for William and Michael Null, while Molitor’s bond was send at $250,000, 10 percent. Their probable cause conferences are set for 1 p.m. Oct. 14, and their preliminary exams are scheduled for Oct. 21. 

Musico and Morrison are expected to be arraigned at 2 p.m. in Jackson County. Fix is in custody, and his arraignment is pending in Antrim County.  

“I’d like to personally thank the law enforcement officers who participated in yesterday’s arrests and those who have assisted with this investigation throughout the past several months,” Attorney General Nessel said. “Your heroic efforts have left the people of this state safer and the instruments of our government stronger. I know that I speak on behalf of Michiganders everywhere when I say we are forever grateful to you for your actions.” 

So far there have been a total of 13 who have been arrested in the sinister plot. The seven named are those that have been named in a joint press release to media.

The FBI in a press release stated the following:

The federal complaint in this case alleges that the FBI began an investigation earlier this year after becoming aware through social media that a group of individuals was discussing the violent overthrow of certain government and law enforcement components. Through confidential sources, undercover agents, and clandestine recordings, law enforcement learned particular individuals were planning to kidnap the Governor and acting in furtherance of that plan. This group used operational security measures, including communicating by encrypted messaging platforms and used code words and phrases in an attempt to avoid detection by law enforcement.

On two occasions, members of the alleged conspiracy conducted coordinated surveillance on the Governor’s vacation home. Fox and Croft discussed detonating explosive devices to divert police from the area of the vacation home and Fox even inspected the underside of an M-31 highway bridge for places to seat an explosive, according to the complaint. Among other activities, the complaint alleges Fox purchased a taser for use in the kidnapping and that the group successfully detonated an improvised explosive device wrapped with shrapnel to test its anti-personnel capabilities. The FBI and Michigan State Police executed arrests as multiple conspirators met to pool funds for explosives and exchange tactical gear.

“All of us can disagree about politics, but those disagreements should never, ever result in violence,” stated U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider, Eastern District of Michigan. “The allegations in this complaint are deeply disturbing. We owe our thanks to the men and women of law enforcement who uncovered this plot and have worked so hard to protect Governor Whitmer.”

“These alleged extremists undertook a plot to kidnap a sitting governor,” said Assistant Special Agent in Charge Josh P. Hauxhurst. “Whenever extremists move into the realm of actually  planning violent acts, the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force stands ready to identify, disrupt and dismantle their operations, preventing them from following through on those plans.”

The investigation is ongoing. Agents of the Detroit Field Office of the FBI and other members of their Joint Terrorism Task Force, including the Michigan State Police, are conducting the investigation. FBI Agents and JTTF members in the Baltimore Field Office of the FBI, which covers Delaware, are also involved. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Michigan is prosecuting the federal charges. U.S. Attorney’s Offices in the Eastern District of Michigan and Delaware have assisted.

Based on information developed in the investigation, State of Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced the simultaneous arrest of seven other individuals on state charges of providing material support of terroristic activities and of possessing a firearm in the course of that offense.

United States Attorney for the Eastern District Matthew Schneider said that “All of us in Michigan can disagree about politics.  But those disagreements can never, ever, result in violence.  And because of the hard work of the men and women in law enforcement – police officers and federal agents – violence has been prevented today. 

This case is being brought in the Western District of Michigan.  Some of the defendants reside in the Eastern District, where search warrants have been executed.  But at the end of the day, what matters most is that the people of Michigan should be reassured that our state and federal governments are working together to keep us all safe. 

I want to thank Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and her office, for their outstanding work and her committed partnership. 

I also thank Colonel Gasper, Special Agent Hauxhurtst, and of course, U.S. Attorney Birge.  

Every day, police officers and federal agents put their lives on the line for us.  In this case, arrests were made swiftly and safely by those officers and agents.  We are most thankful to them.  Thank you.”

A recording of the joint press conference announcing the charges can be viewed on Attorney General Nessel’s Facebook page

Click here to view the charging documents for Bellar and a copy of the affidavit is available here

Click here to view the charging documents for Fix and a copy of the affidavit is available here.

Click here to view the charging documents for Molitor and a copy of the affidavit is available here

Click here to view the charging documents for Morrison and a copy of the affidavit is available here

Click here to view the charging documents for Musico and a copy of the affidavit is available here

Click here to view the charging documents for Michael Null and a copy of the affidavit is available here

Click here to view the charging documents for William Null and a copy of the affidavit is available here

If you would like to Join our Group on Facebook, you can find us at MI Crimes and Headlines or visit our Official page on Facebook. You can also find us on Instagram and Pinterest by clicking on either link.


Share This Article