FBI raids Detroit home over threats made towards Whitmer plot attorneys, judge

Two defense attorneys and Judge Robert Jonker were the subjects of threats out of Hazel Park
Joshua Blanchard with Christopher Gibbons in background seated.jpg
Posted at 4:48 PM, Mar 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-30 16:48:04-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.  — The twelfth day of testimony in the trial of four men accused of plotting to kidnap Michigan’s governor was overshadowed by news of threats directed toward two of the case’s defense attorneys and the presiding judge.

Special FBI Agent Mara Schneider, a spokesperson for the agency’s Detroit field office, confirmed to FOX17 on Wednesday that agents conducted a raid on a home in Hazel Park, on the state’s east side.

Agent Schneider said the threats were directed toward defense attorneys Christopher Gibbons, who is representing defendant Adam Fox, and Joshua Blanchard who is representing defendant Barry Croft. Fox and Croft are both accused of being the alleged plot’s ringleaders.

A threat was also directed toward Chief Judge Robert J. Jonker of U.S. Western District Court of Michigan. Jonker is presiding over the case.

Though she couldn’t discuss the nature of the threats, Agent Schneider made clear there were no actual attempts on any of the men’s lives.

“FBI Detroit will work closely with other FBI field offices and with our law enforcement partners across the country to identify the source of any threat made to anyone involved with the ongoing prosecution in Grand Rapids,” said Agent Schneider. “Individuals found responsible for making threats in violation of state and/or federal law will be referred for prosecution in the appropriate jurisdiction.”

No arrests were made at the Hazel Park home on Friday.

Fox and Croft, along with Daniel Harris and Brandon Caserta are now in their third week of prosecution for their alleged involvement in a plan to kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

Defense attorneys are claiming their clients were entrapped by the FBI and their dozen undercover agents and informants and that it was the government, not their clients, who pushed the plan forward.

Prosecutors rested their case Wednesday and the defense started calling their witnesses to the stand.