Home News Two charged in plot to kidnap Michigan Govenor served in the Marines

Two charged in plot to kidnap Michigan Govenor served in the Marines

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A pair of suspects in the plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer served in the U.S. Marine Corps for several years.

Joseph Morrison, 26, of Munith, and Daniel J. Harris, 23, of Lake Orion, have been charged along with 11 other suspects in connection with the plot to kidnap the governor, kill police, blow up a bridge, and destroy Whitmer’s Elk Rapids lake house with the hopes of igniting a civil war.

Daniel Harris (left) and Joseph Morrison (right), two men police say were involved in a plot to kidnap Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Marine Corps spokesman Master Sgt. Andrew Pendracki confirmed with MLive that Harris and Morrison previously served in the military branch.

“We are aware of the circumstances surrounding the two individuals, and will assist the investigating authorities in any way we can,” said Pendracki in an email.

After joining the Marine Corps Reserve in March 2015, Morrison earned the rank of lance corporal E-3 until his service ended Oct. 8, the same day he was arraigned on charges.

Information provided by the Marine Corps states his service ended unrelated to the current situation, but no additional information was provided on his departure.

Morrison earned a National Defense Service medal and Selected Marine Corps Reserve Medal during his service. His specialty while in the service was as an engineer equipment mechanic.

His last duty assignment came as part of the Engineer Support Company, 6th Engineer Support Battalion, 4th Marine Logistics Group, in Battle Creek.

Serving from June 2015 until June 2019, Harris attained the rank of corporal E-4 with a specialty as a rifleman.

He’d been deployed overseas once, from August 2016 until February 2017 in Japan.

Harris earned the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, and Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.

His final duty assignment was with the 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

Harris was also present at a July 18 meeting in Ohio when the idea of attacking an MSP facility was discussed, authorities have said.

On Aug. 9, Harris was with others for another tactical training session in Munith. In an encrypted chat involving Fox, Garbin, and Franks, Harris sent a message stating, “Have one person go to her house. Knock on the door and when she answers it just cap her . . . at this point. (Expletive) it. I mean . . . (expletive), catch her walking into the building and act like a passers-by and fixing dome her then yourself whoever does it,” according to federal documents.

Encrypted group chats indicate Harris, and three other suspects planned to meet with an undercover FBI employee on Oct. 7 to make a payment on explosives and exchange tactical gear.

Morrison is considered a co-founder of the Wolverine Watchmen militia. Law enforcement officials executed a search at Morrison’s home on Oct. 7, during which evidence was collected and he was arrested along with suspect Pete Musico.

Morrison and Musico were arraigned in Jackson County District Court the next day, with their bonds set at $10 million each.

Officials have accused Morrison and Musico of aiding in the surveillance of bridges they planned to blow up as a distraction during the kidnapping, as well as assisting in collecting addresses of law enforcement officers with a plan to kill them.

“The serious allegations are not a reflection of the Marine Corps, do not reflect the oath every Marine takes to support and defend the constitution, and do not align with our core values of honor, courage, and commitment, ” said Pendracki of the situation.

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