The masks and the closures were one thing.
But it was the COVID-19 vaccines, and the idea that they should become mandatory, that really pushed the alleged Governor Gretchen Whitmer kidnapping plotters over the edge, an undercover FBI informant testified Friday.
Were the vaccines the “breaking point”, the prosecutor asked the informant.
“Yes,” replied the informant, who told the jury how the alleged plotters reacted to news that there were vaccines on the way.
It was the contact traces and the talk of making them mandatory that really woke up the group, testified the informant known as Dan.
To bolster his testimony, the government played footage for the jury, in which one of the defendants, Brandon Caserta, is heard telling the informant his views on mandatory vaccines and what to do with those who are in favor of it.
“Buildings that make vaccines – blow them up,” Caserta is heard telling Dan.
He also called for killing police officers, who would enforce vaccine mandates, and killing the lawyers who support vaccines, by cutting off their heads.
According to the undercover informant, Caserta was so angry with the vaccine that he wanted to target groups that responded to the pandemic, including contact trackers, doctors and companies that manufacture the vaccines.
In encrypted group chats and in footage shown in front of the jury, Caserta talked about seizing shipments of the vaccine and harming those who supported them.
“Doctors who were in favor of mandatory vaccines – bullet in the face,” Caserta is heard saying in footage taken by Dan.
“Buildings that make the vaccines blow them up. I’m not even making fun. Every lawyer who supports a vaccine mandate beheads them in their own homes,” Caserta said.
Caserta presented himself as an anarchist to the group, and often showed dissatisfaction with notions that co-defendant Adam Fox was the main chairman.
“Free men (are) not ranked,” Caserta wrote over encrypted message apps.
Caserta’s dissatisfaction with the coronavirus pandemic extended beyond vaccines – he wanted to identify those involved in contact tracing, and even suggested posing as a voluntary contact tracing to get more information about the process and target those who manage the tracking effort.
“I do not call it contact tracing, I call it constitutional trampling,” Caserta said in a recording made in August 2020 during a meeting in Munith. “We create a dynamic where no one wants to be a contact tracker because they can fucking die.”
Caserta, who was sitting on the second row of defendants next to his lawyer, Michael Hills, did not change his behavior when the sound was played.
Along with a firm stance against the COVID-19 vaccines, Caserta issued complaints about more than just what the governor of Michigan did. To him, she was just a servant, Dan said, adding that he would go after her “merchants.”
“I want Zionist banker blood,” Caserta is heard saying in a recording, probably referring to a conspiracy theory that “Zionists” have infiltrated the government and made important decisions that shape society behind the scenes.
The conspiracy theory has been branded anti-Semitic by a number of groups, including the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
In footage played by prosecutors earlier in the trial, Caserta could be heard advocating similar conspiracies.
The comments troubled Dan, who told jurors that he made it a point to put himself between a door when he was with Caserta, just in case he ever had to flee quickly.
“He wanted to drink their blood from their skulls,” Dan said, referring to the “Zionist bankers that Caserta gave out of.” He wanted to go on keys, he had a lot of emotion in this. “
Dan described Caserta as impulsive.
“… I was worried about him,” Dan testified. “He had violence in him. I made sure the door was behind me when he talked.”
Dan, who confirmed the authenticity of the government’s audio recordings, is a key player in the case as he is the former Wolverine Watchmen member who left the group after hearing of the killing of officers, reported the information to police and then went undercover for the FBI.
It was Dan, known as “Big Dan”, who helped the FBI get over the case, the prosecution has claimed, although the defense has portrayed him as a junk informant who did what the FBI told him, egged on their clients and ran it all. . show.
Juries also saw and heard video footage of the suspects who defeated Whitmer’s vacation home.
“It’s it! It’s f —— it!” Fox is heard telling the driver when he catches sight of the house.
There is tension in Fox’s voice and he asks the driver to turn around and investigate the whole area. Undercover informant Dan was sitting in the car with Fox.
Defendant is Fox, 38, of Potterville, who is accused of being the principal; Daniel Harris, 24, of Lake Orion; Caserta, 33, of Canton Township, and Barry Croft, 46, of Delaware. All are charged with kidnapping conspiracy; three are charged with weapons of mass destruction.
If convicted, they each risk life in prison.
Tresa Baldas: [email protected]