PanamaTimes

Sunday, Mar 03, 2024

Three men sentenced to prison for aiding plot to kidnap Michigan governor

Three men sentenced to prison for aiding plot to kidnap Michigan governor

Three men convicted of playing supporting roles in a foiled plot to kidnap the governor of Michigan in 2020 were sentenced to multiple years in prison on Thursday, as two of the conspiracy's ringleaders await sentencing before the end of the month.
The three were convicted by a jury in October on charges of gang membership, firearm violations and providing material support for terrorism.

Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Wilson handed down a minimum sentence of 10 years to Joseph Morrison and 12 years to his father-in-law, Pete Musico. The third man, Paul Bellar, was given a minimum of seven years in prison.

Morrison, 28, and Musico, 44, could serve a maximum of 42 years in prison, depending on parole under the consecutive sentences handed down by Wilson. Bellar, 23, could serve as much as 22 years behind bars.

The defendants "supported a violent conspiracy and provided material support for terrorism. They chose actions that are antithetical to what makes our nation strong and safe," Governor Gretchen Whitmer said in a recorded victim-impact statement that was shown in court.

During the two-hour hearing, the men - dressed in orange prison jumpsuits - sat with their attorneys with their hands shackled to their waists. Each made a statement to the court, saying they were sorry for their actions.

"I regret that I ever let hate, fear and anger into my heart the way I did," Morrison said, apologizing to the governor and law enforcement.

The convictions were a victory for state prosecutors who argued that the defendants assisted two other men, who in August were found guilty in federal court of orchestrating the kidnapping conspiracy.

Defense attorneys had argued their clients did not know of a plan to kidnap the governor and that their actions were protected by the First and Second Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

The three men were among more than a dozen arrested in October 2020 and charged with state or federal crimes linked to a conspiracy to abduct Governor Whitmer.

The plot was hatched in part from the frustrations of the defendants over restrictions the Democratic governor imposed during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The group planned to break into Whitmer's vacation home, kidnap her and take her at gunpoint to stand "trial" on treason charges, prosecutors said.

The conspirators hoped an abduction would lead to a violent uprising and instigate a civil war, prosecutors said.

Seven of the accused, including Morrison, Musico and Bellar, have now been convicted by a jury or pleaded guilty to playing roles in the conspiracy. Two others were acquitted of federal charges at a trial in April.

In August, two alleged militia members accused of conspiring to trigger a "second American revolution" in the kidnapping plot were found guilty of kidnapping conspiracy charges. Adam Fox and Barry Croft Jr. were convicted at a retrial after the first trial in the spring ended with a hung jury. Two other defendants were acquitted during those proceedings.

Fox and Croft are scheduled to be sentenced later this month. They face the possibility of life in prison.

Morrison and Musico were accused of hosting tactical training sessions on their property in a remote part of Michigan. Bellar was accused of providing plans for tactical maneuvers, coded language for covert communication and ammunition.

All three were members of a militia group called the Wolverine Watchmen, prosecutors said.
Newsletter

Related Articles

PanamaTimes
0:00
0:00
Close
Apple warns against drying iPhones with rice
In a recent High Court hearing, the U.S. argued that Julian Assange endangered lives by releasing classified information.
Global Law Enforcement Dismantles Lockbit Ransomware Operation
Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny has died at the Arctic prison colony
The President of Argentina Javier Mile does not fly private, he flies commercial, with the citizens he represents. And they LOVE him for it.
Bitcoin Reaches $50,000 for First Time in Over Two Years
Belo Horizonte: Brazil's Rising Carnival Hotspot for 2024
In El Salvador, the 'Trump of Latin America' stuns the world with a speech slamming woke policing after winning a landslide election
Tucker’s interview with Putin is over 50M views on X within the first 5 hours.
Finnish Airline, Finnair, is voluntarily weighing passengers to better estimate flight cargo weight
President Nayib Bukele has proudly announced El Salvador's remarkable achievement of becoming the safest nation in the Western Hemisphere.
Former Chilean President Sebastian Piñera Dies in Helicopter Crash
This farmer seems to understand science a bit more than the event organizer, Klaus Schwab.
Facebook turns 20: From Mark Zuckerberg's dormitory to a $1trn company
The Coolest Dictator in the World" on the Path to Victory in El Salvador
Macron, France and fake news
Indian-Origin Man 'King' Arrested For Smuggling $16 Million Drugs Into US
Can someone teach Americans that not every person with slanted eyes is Chinese?
Europe's Farmers Feeding the People, Protesting Against Politicians Who Do Nothing for Their Country and Serve Only Themselves at Taxpayers' Expense
Paris Restaurant That Inspired 'Ratatouille' Loses $1.6 Million Worth Of Wine
Brazilian Police Investigate Bolsonaro's Son for Alleged Illegal Spying
Police in Brazil Raid Residence of Bolsonaro Associate Over Allegations of Illegal Spying
Border Dispute Escalates as Texas Governor Vows Increased Razor Wire
OpenAI Enhances ChatGPT-4 Model, Potentially Addressing AI "Laziness" Issue
The NSA finally acknowledges spying on Americans by acquiring sensitive data
Report Reveals Toxic Telegram Group Generating X-Rated AI-Generated Fake Images of Taylor Swift
US Border Patrol States 'No Plans' to Remove Razor Wire Installed in Texas
Bitcoin Experiences Approximately 20% Decline in Value
Klaus Schwab recently appointed himself as the Earth's "trustee of the future."
DeSantis Drops Out, Endorses Trump.
Nikki Haley said former President Trump is "just not at the same level" of mental fitness as he was while president in 2016.
Residents of a southern Mexican town set the government palace on fire in response to the police killing of a young man
Samsung Launches AI-Driven Galaxy S24, Ushering in New Smartphone Era
Judge Questions SEC's Regulatory Overreach in Coinbase Lawsuit
The Ecuador prosecutor who was investigating the television studio attack, has been assassinated.
Is artificial intelligence the solution to cyber security threats?
Vivek Ramaswamy suspends his US election campaign and endorses Trump.
Viral Satire: A Staged Satirical Clip Mistaken as Real Footage from the 2024 World Economic Forum in Davos
The AI Revolution in the Workforce: CEOs at Davos Predict Major Job Cuts in 2024
Ecuador Reports 178 Hostages in Prison Gang Standoff
The Startling Cuban Espionage Case That Has Rattled the US Government
Two Armed Men in Ecuador, Dressed as Batman and The Joker Storm the Streets.
Armed Gang Raids Ecuadorian TV Station Following State of Emergency Declaration
Anti-Democratic Canada: Journalist Arrested for Questioning Canadian Finance Minister on Support of Terrorist Group
Ecuador's 'Most-Wanted' Criminal Vanishes from Prison
Mexican Cartel Supplied Wi-Fi to Locals Under Threat of Fatal Consequences for Non-Compliance
Border Surge Leads to Over 11,000 Migrants Waiting in Northern Mexico
Outsider Candidates Triumph in Latin American Elections
As Argentina Goes to the Polls, Will the Proposal to Replace the Peso with the Dollar Secure Votes?
Fatal Shark Attack Claims Life of Boston Woman Paddleboarding Near Bahamas Resort, According to Police
×