Barry Gordon Croft Jr. is a white man from Bear, Delaware, United States. He was accused of participating in the thwarted plot to kidnap Gretchen Whitmer, the 49th governor of Michigan, USA, while the world was battling the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in 2020.
Aside from Bear, Croft has lived in various parts of Delaware including Delaware City and Wilmington. He has lived in various parts of North Carolina, USA including Wilkesboro, North Wilkesboro and Traphill and in various parts of Colorado, USA including Castle Rock, Northglenn and Thornton.
Through electronic communications, Croft and his fellow kidnapping conspirator Adam Fox allegedly agreed to unite others in their cause and take violent action against multiple state governments that they believe are violating the U.S. Constitution. They allegedly planned to kidnap Whitmer before the 59th quadrennial U.S. presidential election on November 3, 2020.
Croft and more than 10 other men allegedly spent months to plot the kidnapping. Here are 13 more things about him:
- He described himself as a conservative constitutionalist, WPVI-TV quoted his neighbors in Bear as saying.
- He owned a trucking company.
- In 2019, 74th Delaware governor John Charles Carney Jr. pardoned him from prison for several charges from the mid-1990s. He owed Delaware more than $36,000 in taxes, according to a 2019 judgment. On May 25, 2019, he tweeted, “Every government official, top to bottom, is responsible for the invasion of America by an estimated 35 million illegal foreign people. Enjoy your memorial day weekend.”
- On June 6, 2020, he and around 14 other kidnapping conspirators from several states allegedly gathered in Dublin, Ohio, USA to discuss how to create a society that followed the U.S. Bill of Rights and allowed them to be self-sufficient.
- From July 10-12, 2020, he was allegedly in Cambria, Wisconsin, USA with his fellow kidnapping conspirators to have firearms training and other combat drills. On July 11, 2020, he allegedly actively participated in the group’s two faulty attempts to construct an improvised explosive device using black powder, balloons, a fuse and BBs for shrapnel.
- On July 18, 2020, he allegedly met his fellow kidnapping conspirators in Ohio, USA to discuss attacking a Michigan State Police facility.
- From September 12-13, 2020, he allegedly was with his fellow kidnapping conspirators at a property in Luther, Michigan owned by Ty Garbin, also a member of the militia group. He brought what he referred to as his “chemistry set,” which included components for an IED. To construct an IED, he removed the cap from a commercial firework, added additional black powder and wrapped the device in pennies and electrical tape as shrapnel. In a clearing surrounded by human silhouette targets, they set the device, which he detonated to test its anti-personnel effectiveness. Since they were all armed at the time, he allegedly suggested to Fox that they take the opportunity to conduct an act of violence in the evening of September 12, 2020 but he was eventually dissuaded of the idea and decided to wait for a better time. On the morning of September 13, 2020, Fox allegedly selected him and 10 other members of the group to conduct a nighttime surveillance of Whitmer’s vacation home in Michigan in preparation for her kidnapping.
- Just after 11:00 p.m. on October 7, 2020, he was taken into custody in Swedesboro, New Jersey, USA. The federal government charged him, Fox and their co-conspirators Ty Garbin, Kaleb Franks, Daniel Harris and Brandon Caserta.
- He was in federal custody in Delaware when he made an initial appearance in district court on October 8, 2020.
- On April 8, 2022, U.S. District Judge Robert J. Jonker declared a mistrial on kidnapping conspiracy charges against him and Fox.
- On August 22, 2022, he and Fox were found guilty of attempting to procure a weapon of mass destruction and convicted of conspiring to kidnap Whitmer in 2020.
- On November 8, 2022, Whitmer was reelected to a second term. He and Fox requested for a new trial, which Jonker denied on November 25, 2022.
- He was 4 sentenced to more than 19 years in prison years old when Jonker sentenced him on December 28, 2022 to more than 19 years in prison.