The co-leader of the plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Whitmer went on an anti-government rant the night before he was sentenced to 19 years in prison
- A co-creator of a plot to kidnap Michigan's governor went on an anti-government rant before his sentencing.
- Barry Croft Jr. was sentenced to 19.5 years in prison for his role in the plot.
The co-leader of a plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in 2020 went on an anti-government rant in a YouTube video posted the night before he was sentenced to 19.5 years in prison.
Barry Croft Jr. was sentenced on Wednesday and received the longest sentence in the plot, which prosecutors have said also included plans to blow up a bridge in the hopes of inciting a civil war.
YouTuber Radix Verum, who according to her channel posts videos of "news, commentary, culture, and everything in between," interviewed Croft in a video published on Tuesday night in which she offered Croft an opportunity to share a "Final Message" ahead of his sentencing.
"I love my people," Croft said, launching into a nearly eight-minute anti-government rant. "I'm not a domestic terrorist. I never had any intentions of taking violent actions against anybody American, but you know it is important that Americans wake up. It is important that they see the writing on the wall."
Prosecutors sought a life sentence in prison for Croft, who they said led the charge on the failed plot to kidnap the governor. US District Judge Robert J. Jonker opted instead for the 19.5-year sentence because no one was injured and no infrastructure was destroyed, the Washington Post reported.
Croft's defense attorney argued Wednesday that Croft had given up his old views, but prosecutors said he was still giving interviews from jail that suggested otherwise.
In Verum's video interview from prison, Croft said he had no "ill will" toward the American people. He instead targeted government officials who he said tout the "land of the free, home of the brave" when, Croft said, "we lost that when you made us a police state and made us a stone's throw away from communists."
He added that he appreciates those who serve but said he wishes they had the "opportunity to serve in the capacity that our founding fathers would have wanted you to serve."
"I'm one of the most freedom-loving people that you could meet," Croft said. He added that he is "right down the middle ideologically" but that he is also a constitutionalist who "supports the rights of the people regardless of what the government says."
"You have to be willing to fight and die for those rights," Croft said. "And if standing up and saying 'Hey, I want to retain my rights' is part of the fight, just do it because these rights are being stripped from us. We are no longer the land of the free, the home of the brave."
One of Croft's accomplices, Adam Fox, was sentenced to 16 years in prison on Tuesday. The other two men involved — Ty Garbin and Kaleb Franks — pleaded guilty to charges against them and agreed to testify against Croft and Fox.
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