One of the masterminds behind the foiled attempt to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has been sentenced to 16 years in prison.
Adam Fox was convicted after officials said he was responsible for encouraging recruits to kidnap Whitmer, blow up a bridge, and kill those who tried to interfere.
The abduction never came to fruition, and Whitmer was not harmed. The FBI infiltrated the group and worked to disband it by the fall of 2020 before the election. However, the government argued the group was very serious about its plan, conducting training sessions with weapons in Michigan and Wisconsin, and staking out Whitmer's vacation home with night vision goggles.
Prosecutors say the anti-government group wanted to carry out the kidnapping ahead of the 2020 presidential election and targeted the governor over Michigan's COVID-19 restrictions and a perception that gun rights were under threat.
Initially, prosecutors sought a life sentence for Fox, but Judge Robert Jonker said that was excessive.
"It's too much. Something less than life gets the job done in this case," he said.
So far, Fox has been sentenced to the most prison time among his co-conspirators. Earlier this year, he, along with Barry Croft Jr, were found guilty on conspiracy charges.
Two other individuals charged in the plot were acquitted by a jury after lawyers were able to successfully argue that the men were essentially tricked and coerced by undercover FBI agents and informants.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Nils Kessler described the group as particularly dangerous.
"They had no real plan for what to do with the governor if they actually seized her. Paradoxically, this made them more dangerous, not less," he said.