Defense attorneys want to dismiss the indictment against five men accused of plotting to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer because of “egregious overreaching” by federal agents and informants, reports the Associated Press. The defense alleges that FBI agents and federal prosecutors invented a conspiracy and entrapped people who could face up to life in prison. They asked U.S. District Judge Robert Jonker to dismiss the conspiracy charge, which would effectively knock down the federal government’s case and other connected charges. “Essentially, the evidence here demonstrates egregious overreaching by the government’s agents, and by the informants those agents handled,” defense attorneys wrote. “When the government was faced with evidence showing that the defendants had no interest in a kidnapping plot, it refused to accept failure and continued to push its plan.”
Five people are charged with kidnapping conspiracy and face a trial March 8 in Grand Rapids. Prosecutors have argued the men were not entrapped. The government alleged the men were upset over coronavirus restrictions when they conspired to kidnap Whitmer, even scouting her second home in northern Michigan.
In January, a sixth man, 26-year-old Ty Garbin, pleaded guilty and is serving a six-year federal prison sentence.