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Wisconsin Man Pleads Guilty to Involvement in Governor Whitmer Kidnapping Plot

By Attorney General Dana Nessel

LANSING â€“ Brian Higgins, 54, of Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, pled guilty to one count of Attempting to Provide Material Support for Terrorism, a five-year felony, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced today. Higgins was among several men charged as a result of a joint operation by state and federal authorities in early October 2020, which exposed a plot to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. 

In total, 20 state felony charges were filed by Attorney General Nessel against eight individuals for their involvement in the plot. Three defendants were previously convicted in Jackson County. Federal charges were also filed against six other individuals, of whom four were convicted and two were acquitted.  

Higgins was originally arrested for providing material support of an act of terrorism, a 20-year felony. As a condition of his plea agreement – which entailed a reduction of charges – Higgins has agreed to testify truthfully against the other remaining defendants regarding their role in the plot. 

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“Anti-government extremism poses a threat to the safety of public officials, law enforcement officers, and residents all across our state,” Nessel said. “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. We will keep fighting to deliver justice as the remaining prosecutions continue to play out.” 

The Michigan Department of Attorney General’s Hate Crimes and Domestic Terrorism Unit is the first statewide unit of its kind in America. The unit can be reached by email or by calling 313-456-0180.

Higgins’ sentencing date is to be determined. A status conference for the other defendants has been scheduled for March 21, 2023. 

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