Wisconsin man arraigned in plot to kidnap Whitmer

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A Wisconsin man has been arraigned for his part in the plot to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Brian Higgins, 51, was arraigned Tuesday morning. He has been charged with providing material support for a terrorist act. If convicted, Higgins could get up to 20 years in prison.

According to court records, the judge has signed a protective order against him for Whitmer, government officials and the governor’s family.

He is one of 14 men accused of plotting to kidnap the governor, a Democrat.

Authorities say the suspects, antigovernment extremists and members of a militia called the Wolverine Watchmen, were angry about executive orders Whitmer had issued to mitigate the spread of coronavirus because they believed she was overstepping her authority.

The FBI says the men allegedly scoped out her vacation home in Antrim County, trained in a “kill house,” bought a Taser to use in the abduction and tried to buy explosives and tactical gear from undercover agents — at which point they were arrested in October.

An affidavit released by the Michigan State Police said Higgins helped four of the men who scoped her house by giving them night-vision goggles and using a dash cam to record videos of her home.

His appeal to fight extradition from Wisconsin was denied on April 21, according to court records in Columbia County in Wisconsin.

His next hearing is scheduled for May 12.

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