Bombs and along with parts used to create explosive devices have been found by federal agents gathering evidence into an alleged plot to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer.
So much evidence has been uncovered that fderal prosecutors asked a judge on Monday to give them an extra 40 days until mid-December to seek a grand jury indictment against six men in the alleged scheme.
The recently recovered components and firearms must now be analyzed to determine whether additional charges will be pursued, Assistant U.S. Attorney Nils Kessler said in a court filing.
‘Firearms and explosive device components were recently recovered, and must be analyzed to determine whether charges under the National Firearms Act, explosives or anti-terrorism statutes are warranted,’ said Assistant U.S. Attorney Nils Kessler.
Federal agents found ‘explosive device components’ while investigating six men accused of plotting to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer (above)
Windows are boarded up at a house in Munith, Michigan where law enforcement officials said suspects accused in a plot to kidnap Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer met
The training camp trailer next to the firing range and alleged bomb testing area, where alleged plotters met up and plotted to kidnap GOV Gretchen Whitmer
The training camp firing range where the alleged plotters would carry out target practice and detonate bombs at a hidden camp deep in the woods near the Town of Luther in Michigan
‘The FBI has collected hundreds of hours of audio recordings from confidential human sources and undercover agents, and is still in the process of collating that material,’ Kessler said.
Kessler said in the filing that there was also a huge amount of evidence to analyze and explained the FBI had to arrest the men before they finished processing it because of evidence they were planning to abduct Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, ahead of the November 3 election.
‘Because of the imminent nature of the threat, law enforcement was obliged to arrest the subjects before this evidence could be processed.’
Authorities allege members of two anti-government paramilitary groups plotted the kidnapping.
Preliminary hearings and detention hearings suggested the men had discussed blowing up a bridge near Whitmer’s northern Michigan cottage to slow the police response to the kidnapping.
The court was also told the alleged conspirators were looking at purchasing $4,000 worth of explosives to detonate the bridge from an undercover FBI agent posing as a sympathizer.
Six men are charged in federal court. Eight more believed to be members or associates of a group called the Wolverine Watchmen are charged in state court with providing material support for terrorist acts.
The eight face a range of state charges in connection with alleged plotting against the governor and government officials and facilities.
The accused ringleader, Adam Fox of Wyoming, Michigan, and four other men are being held in custody in Michigan awaiting trial. A sixth man, also in custody, is being extradited to Michigan from Delaware to face charges.
Defense attorneys have said the alleged plot was all talk and no action.
A confederate flag hangs from a porch on a property in Munith, Michigan earlier this month where law enforcement officials said suspects accused in a plot to kidnap Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer met to train and make plans
Members of the media stand outside a home after it was searched by FBI agents earlier this month
The six in federal court were arrested October 7 and charged under a criminal complaint.
A judge subsequently said there was enough evidence for prosecutors to seek an indictment by the first week of November.
‘The facts upon which the grand jury must base its determination are unusual for their sheer volume in this case,’ Kessler said in seeking an extension.
‘The evidence includes hundreds of hours of undercover audio recordings that have yet to be catalogued and transcribed, and as of the time of this motion, over 13,000 pages of encrypted text messages.’
Kessler said defense lawyers expressed no objection to an extension.