October 15, 2020
LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has charged an eighth individual for his alleged participation in a plan of domestic terrorism that included storming the Michigan Capitol building and harming government officials.
Brian Higgins, 51, of Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, is charged with material support of an act of terrorism, a 20-year felony.
It is alleged that Higgins provided assistance in the plan to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer from her vacation home.
The Attorney General’s office charged seven men after the execution of multiple search and arrest warrants Oct. 7 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.
“While the political rhetoric in our nation may at times be divisive, I am encouraged by the united front our law enforcement community has displayed in response to this indescribable act of terror,” Nessel said. “These were very credible, and very serious threats to our elected officials and the public in general, and the swift actions taken by state and federal authorities this past week are nothing short of heroic.”
Including this latest charge against Higgins, a total of 20 state felony charges were filed by Attorney General Nessel against eight 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.
Higgins was arrested today in Wisconsin and will be extradited to Michigan to be arraigned in Antrim County 86th District Court on the charge. Court dates have not been scheduled.
All but one of the six defendants charged last week have been arraigned and are in custody in Michigan jails. Paul Bellar is facing extradition from South Carolina where he was arrested. He is scheduled to be picked up from South Carolina by Oct. 27.
Charges for all the individuals may change as investigators review evidence gathered during the execution of the search warrants. Details will not be provided until the investigation is complete or until evidence is revealed in court.
The suspects were alleged to have called on members of the Wolverine Watchmen and associates to identify the home addresses of law enforcement officers in order to target them and made threats of violence to instigate a civil war leading to societal collapse.
At least some of the defendants participated in various demonstrations at the Michigan Capitol building over the past several months.
Due to the ongoing investigation and court proceedings, authorities will not confirm the identities of suspects in photo images or video recordings, or whether they were present at specific events.
Please note: A criminal charge is merely an allegation and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. The Attorney General’s office does not provide photos of defendants, but one may be available from the booking agencies, the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center in South Carolina (Bellar), the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office (Musico and Morrison) and the Antrim County Sheriff’s Office (all other defendants charged last week) Booking agency information for Higgins is not available and will be provided later.