Paul Bellar, Joseph Morrison and Pete Musico. Associated Press
Dear Commons Community,
Three men accused of supporting a plot to kidnap Michigan’s Governor Gretchen Whitmer were convicted of all charges yesterday, a triumph for state prosecutors after months of mixed results in the main case in federal court.
Joe Morrison, his father-in-law Pete Musico, and Paul Bellar were found guilty of providing “material support” for a terrorist act as members of a paramilitary group, the Wolverine Watchmen.
They held gun drills in rural Jackson County with a leader of the scheme, Adam Fox, who was disgusted with Gov. Whitmer and other officials in 2020 and said he wanted to kidnap her.
Jurors read and heard violent, anti-government screeds as well as support for the “boogaloo,” a civil war that might be triggered by a shocking abduction. Prosecutors said COVID-19 restrictions ordered by Whitmer turned out to be fruit to recruit more people to the Watchmen. As reported by the Associated Press.
“The facts drip out slowly,” state Assistant Attorney General Bill Rollstin told jurors in Jackson, Michigan, “and you begin to see — wow — there were things that happened that people knew about. … When you see how close Adam Fox got to the governor, you can see how a very bad event was thwarted.”
Morrison, 28, Musico, 44, and Bellar, 24, were also convicted of a gun crime and membership in a gang. Prosecutors said the Wolverine Watchmen was a criminal enterprise.
Morrison, who recently tested positive for COVID-19, and Musico watched the verdict by video away from the courtroom. Judge Thomas Wilson ordered all three to jail while they await sentencing scheduled for Dec. 15.
This trio deserves to have the judge throw the book at them!