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Militia Members Arraigned on Terrorism Charges 

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer speaks in Lansing following the announcement of a plot to kidnap her on Oct. 8, 2020 (source: Executive Office of the Governor)

The office of Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel released the following on Friday, Oct. 9, 2020:

LANSING – Six of the seven individuals facing terrorism and other felony charges filed by Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel have now been arraigned, as the seventh awaits extradition to Michigan.

The Attorney General’s office charged seven men after the execution of multiple search and arrest warrants late Wednesday in a joint operation with the U.S. Attorneys of the Eastern and Western districts of Michigan, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Michigan State Police.

In total, 19 state felony charges were filed by Attorney General Nessel against seven individuals known to be members of the militia group Wolverine Watchmen or associates of Wolverine Watchmen. Federal charges were also filed against six other individuals.

The suspects were alleged to have called on the groups’ members to identify the home addresses of law enforcement officers in order to target them; made threats of violence to instigate a civil war leading to societal collapse; and engaged in the planning and training for an operation to attack the state Capitol building and kidnap government officials, including Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

The following individuals were charged by Attorney General Nessel as part of the joint law enforcement effort:

  • Paul Bellar, 21, of Milford, was arrested in Columbia, South Carolina Wednesday and the Attorney General’s office is working to extradite him to Michigan for arraignment on charges in Jackson County. No court dates have been set. Bellar is charged with:
    • Providing material support for terrorist acts – a 20-year felony and/or $20,000 fine;
    • Gang membership – a 20-year felony, which may be served as a consecutive sentence; and
    • Carrying or possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony; felony firearm – a two-year mandatory prison sentence to be served consecutively.

      This undated photo provided by the Richland County Public Information Office in Columbia, South Carolina shows Paul Bellar. Bellar is one of several people charged with plotting to kidnap Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, authorities said Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020, in announcing charges in an alleged scheme that involved months of planning and even rehearsals to snatch Whitmer from her vacation home. (Richland County Public Information Office via AP)
  • Shawn Fix, 38, of Belleville, was arraigned today in Antrim County. Bond was set at $250,000. Preliminary hearing scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Oct. 28. A probable cause conference has not be scheduled. Fix is charged with:
    • Providing material support for terrorist acts – a 20-year felony and/or $20,000 fine; and
    • Carrying or possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony; felony firearm – a two-year mandatory prison sentence to be served consecutively.

      This undated photo provided by the Antrim County Jail in Bellaire, Mich, shows Shawn Fix. Fix is charged with terrorists acts and violating federal firearms laws. His attorney entered a not guilty plea on his behalf and bond was set at $250,000.( Antrim County Jail via AP)
  • Eric Molitor, 36, of Cadillac – Arraigned Thursday in Antrim County, with bond set at $250,000, 10 percent. His probable cause conference is set for 1 p.m. Oct. 14, and his preliminary hearing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Oct. 28. Molitor is charged with:
    • Providing material support for terrorist acts – a 20-year felony and/or $20,000 fine; and
    • Carrying or possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony; felony firearm – a two-year mandatory prison sentence to be served consecutively.

      In a photo provided by the Antrim County Sheriff, Eric Molitor is shown in a booking photo. Molitor is one of several charged with plotting to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer at her vacation home in reaction to what they viewed as her “uncontrolled power,” according to a criminal complaint unsealed Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020, in federal court. (Antrim County Sheriff via AP)
  • Michael Null, 38, of Plainwell, and William Null, 38, of Shelbyville – Both were arraigned Thursday in Antrim County, with cash bond set at $250,000 each. Both are scheduled for a probable cause conference at 1 p.m. Oct. 14, and preliminary hearing at 1:30 p.m. Oct. 28. Both defendants are each charged with one count of:
    • Providing material support for terrorist acts – a 20-year felony and/or $20,000 fine; and
    • Carrying or possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony; felony firearm – a two-year mandatory prison sentence to be served consecutively.
      In a photo provided by the Antrim County Sheriff, Michael Null is shown in a booking photo. Null is one of several charged with plotting to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer at her vacation home in reaction to what they viewed as her “uncontrolled power,” according to a criminal complaint unsealed Thursday , Oct. 8, 2020, in federal court. (Antrim County Sheriff via AP)

      In a photo provided by the Antrim County Sheriff, William Null is shown in a booking photo. Null is one of several people charged with plotting to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer at her vacation home in reaction to what they viewed as her “uncontrolled power,” according to a criminal complaint unsealed Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020, in federal court. (Antrim County Sheriff via AP)
  • Pete Musico, 42, and Joseph Morrison, 26, both of Munith – Both were arraigned Thursday in Jackson County, with a cash bond set at $10 million each. Both are scheduled for a probable cause conference at 1 p.m. Oct. 16 and a preliminary hearing at 9:30 a.m. Oct. 21. Both Musico and Munith are charged with:
    • One count each of threat of terrorism, a 20-year felony and/or $20,000 fine;
    • One count each of gang membership, a 20-year felony that may be served as a consecutive sentence;
    • One count each of providing material support for terrorist acts; and
    • One count each for carrying or possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony; felony firearm – a two-year mandatory prison sentence to be served consecutively.
      This photo provided by the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office shows Pete Musico. Agents foiled a stunning plot to kidnap Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, authorities said Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020 in announcing charges in an alleged scheme that involved months of planning and even rehearsals to snatch her from her vacation home. According to an FBI affidavit, Musico is one of the founding members of the Wolverine Watchmen, which authorities described as “an anti-government, anti-law enforcement militia group.” (Jackson County Sheriff’s Office via AP)

      This photo provided by the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office shows Joseph Morrison. Agents foiled a stunning plot to kidnap Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, authorities said Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020 in announcing charges in an alleged scheme that involved months of planning and even rehearsals to snatch her from her vacation home. According to an FBI affidavit, Morrison is one of the founding members of the Wolverine Watchmen, which authorities described as “an anti-government, anti-law enforcement militia group.” (Jackson County Sheriff’s Office via AP)
More than 200 state and federal law enforcement officials  – including experts from outside of Michigan – were involved in the operation. A series of search warrants and arrest warrants in more than a dozen cities around the state, including, Belleville, Cadillac, Canton, Charlotte, Clarkston, Grand Rapids, Luther, Munith, Orion Township, Ovid, Portage, Shelby Township and Waterford.

Evidence gathered during the operation is still being reviewed, and additional information will not be provided until the completion of that review or until it is entered in court.



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