Brian Higgins of Wisconsin pleaded guilty Wednesday to his role in the plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Photo by Andrew Harrer/UPI | License Photo
March 16 (UPI) -- A Wisconsin man has pleaded guilty to his role in a domestic terrorism plot to kidnap the state's Democratic governor and has agreed to testify against his fellow co-conspirators in exchange for a lighter sentence, the state's attorney general said.
Brian Higgins, 54, of Wisconsin Dells, Wis., was arrested Oct. 15, a week after the FBI said it had foiled a plot by armed militia members to storm the Michigan State Capitol, take Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and others hostage and put her on trial for treason, seemingly over the policies she put in place to stymie spread of the COVID-19 virus.
Higgins was accused of providing material support in an act of terrorism, which is a 20-year felony, over accusations that he surveilled the governor's private vacation home and provided the use of night-vision googles as well as a mounted digital dash camera in the effort, according to court documents.
Attorney General Dana Nessel said Higgins pleaded guilty Wednesday to the lesser charge of attempting to provide material support for terrorism, which is a five-year felony, but that part of his plea deal states that he has agreed to testify against other defendants in the kidnapping plot.
"Anti-government extremism poses a threat to the safety of public officials, law enforcement officers and residents all across our state," Nessel said in a statement.
"My department's hate Crimes and Domestic Terrorism unit is working around the clock to ensure that those who attempt to sow discord and commit violence in Michigan are stopped before any harm can come of their plots."
Fourteen people have been charged in connection to the terrorism conspiracy with Michigan leveling a total of 20 charges against eight people, three of whom were convicted in Jackson County. Federal prosecutors have laid charges against six people, of whom four were convicted and two were acquitted.
"We will keep fighting to deliver justice as the remaining prosecutions continue to play out," Nessel said.
Higgins' sentencing date has yet to be scheduled, with a status conference for the other defendants to be held on Tuesday.