GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — On day four of the retrial of Adam Fox and Barry Croft, two of the men charged federally with allegedly plotting to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, the court heard from several FBI agents who worked the investigation.
The day picked up with FBI Special Agent Christopher Long being cross-examined by Croft's attorney, Joshua Blanchard.
Blanchard spent much of his time asking about how the FBI handled undercover informants Steve Robeson and Jenny Plunk.
Long confirmed that Plunk actually knew Robeson before she became an informant for the government.
He also explained that they reimbursed plunk about $8,000 during the course of the investigation for "travel and food."
Plunk ended up becoming an issue for the feds after they found out she had sold a Taurus 9 mm pistol to Robeson at some point while they were working as informants. This was not legal, as Robeson is a convicted felon.
Long said there were five undercover informants who had contact with Barry Croft at various times during the investigation.
He explained that members of the Wolverine Watchmen militia had at some point become frustrated with Croft, and wanted to distance themselves from him.
In an effort to keep Croft in contact with other militia members, Long sent Plunk a text along the lines of, "You just have to find common ground... Show them the good ideas Croft brought, and show them what’s workable and not. A compromise may be needed on both sides."
Long said the intent behind these efforts were to “maintain access to this group by having a source being able to report on them.”
Both Robeson and Plunk were present at five of the gatherings that Croft was at, in Dublin, OH; Cambria, WI; Peebles, OH; Luther, MI; and at a tavern in Delaware.
"Everywhere that Barry (Croft) went, Robi (Robeson) was there; everywhere that Barry went, Plunk was sure to go," Blanchard said in court Friday.
After Long was dismissed, FBI Special Agent Mark Schweers took the stand for the prosecution.
Schweers worked in an undercover agent capacity during the investigation, tasked with making contact with Adam Fox.
Working under the pseudonym "Mark Woods," he initially reached Fox via an encrypted chat application called Wire.
Fox allegedly invited Schweers over to the business he was working and living at, called the Vac Shack, after Schweers messaged him saying he would be in the Grand Rapids area around July 4, 2020.
"We have many meetings here,” Fox is heard saying on a secret recording Schweers made while the pair met in the basement of the Vac Shack.
“Our sole purpose is to restore the constitutional republic.”
Schweers said Fox had him leave his cell phone upstairs before meeting downstairs as a method of operational security.
“If I said I want to kill the f—ing governor, and they hear that, they could come get me,” Fox is seemingly heard saying in the secret audio recording.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Nils Kessler also asked Schweers about an audio recording he captured of Croft at one of the group's alleged field training exercises.
"Daddy, do you want a Dorito?" Croft's approximately 10-year-old daughter is seemingly heard saying in the recording.
Croft responds, "Honey, I'm making explosives; can you get away from me? I love you."
This clip was also played in the first trial earlier this year.
Schweers spoke extensively about what the group did at the meet up, including running drills through a "shoot house," sometimes referred to in court as a "kill house."