Twenty-five-year-old Ty Garbin has been sentenced to more than 6 years in prison for plotting to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan. Garbin was part of a team of more than 12 people who called themselves the Wolverine Watchers and plotted to kidnap Whitmer and then hold her to a public trial. The governor’s sin was that she imposed COVID-19 restrictions in 2020 and some people earned reduced incomes as a result of the lockdown.
Five of the accused plead not guilty and will face trial in October. Garbin is the only one that pleaded guilty and got 75-month sentencing for cooperating with federal investigators. US District Judge Robert Jonker said his 75 months prison term will be followed by three years of probation and payment of a $2,500 fine.
Federal guidelines stipulate that Garbin and his co-conspirators get up to 17+ years in prison, but prosecutors and defenders agreed that he had been very helpful in cooperating with investigators. He helped the FBI and Michigan State Police to unravel the entire plot and helped fill in the gaps where government agents could not establish certain facts.
According to investigators, Garbin and his co-conspirators engaged in field training exercises with guns and explosives in their plan to storm Gov. Whitmer’s summer house. They watched the house night and day and planned to plant bombs at a bridge leading to the house so that law enforcement would be delayed if they ever respond to the attack on the governor.
The group planned to put Whitmer on “trial” for implementing COVID-19 restrictions and even put her on a boat with no engine in the middle of Lake Michigan. But the FBI and the police foiled the plans by arresting the member when it became apparent that the cover of an agent working with them was about to be blown.
During the sentencing in court, Garbin apologized to Whitmer and also to his family for shaming them. He promised to “deradicalize” and prevent other people from ever harming others.
“First, I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and her family,” he told the court. “I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on my actions, and I never realized what my actions would have caused to her, but also her family. I can’t even begin to imagine the amount of stress and fear her family members felt because of my actions, and for that, I’m truly sorry.”
He begged his family and friends to forgive him and promised to live soberly and take more responsibility for his life.
“I never took into consideration the emotional effect that my actions would take on them, as well,” he said. “And for that, I was truly selfish to not take into consideration my family members that have meant so much to me.”