Crime Documents Reveal More About Gruesome Abuse Allegations Against Lead FBI Agent on Gretchen Whitmer Kidnapping Case

03:06  29 july  2021
03:06  29 july  2021 Source:   lawandcrime.com

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Several of the men accused of planning to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer say they were entrapped by the FBI , with government documents suggesting that at least 12 undercover informants played major roles in the scheme. A lengthy investigation by BuzzFeed News – published on Tuesday and based on court filings, text and audio transcripts, and more than two dozen interviews with sources close to the case – claimed that the 12 informants and undercover agents “played a far larger role” in the kidnapping plot than was previously known.

(AP) — An FBI agent who testified about an alleged plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is facing an assault charge, according to court records. Trask has provided details in federal court about an alleged scheme to kidnap Whitmer in retaliation for her orders last year meant to slow the spread of the coronavirus. One man has pleaded guilty and roughly a dozen others are awaiting trial. “It’s the last thing you want for a major case like this,” said Andy Arena, former head of the FBI office in Detroit.

Police reports obtained by Law&Crime through a public records request shed new light on domestic violence charges against a key FBI agent involved in the prosecution of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s alleged would-be kidnappers.

a man wearing a suit and tie: Richard Trask appears in a mugshot © Provided by Law & Crime Richard Trask appears in a mugshot

FBI Special Agent Richard Trask, 39, stands accused of assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder, according to Kalamazoo County Court records reviewed by Law&Crime after being arrested on charges of aggravated felonious assault against a family member who was being strong armed, a term of art under Michigan law which is defined as “the use of physical force or coercion.”

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The alleged plot to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer made international headlines last October, when the Department of Justice announced it had charged six men in a kidnapping conspiracy. Five of the defendants — Barry Croft, Adam Fox, Daniel Harris, Kaleb Franks, and Brandon Caserta — have all pleaded not guilty and have been held without bail since their arrests. Eight other men were charged under Michigan’s anti -terrorism statutes for providing material support to the plotters.

The Michigan kidnapping case is a major test for the Biden administration’s commitment to fighting domestic terrorism — and a crucible for the fierce ideological divisions pulling the country apart. Gretchen Whitmer ’s three-bedroom vacation cottage, subdue her — using a stun gun if necessary — and drag her away. One vehicle stopped to check out a boat launch while a second searched in vain for the right house in the thick woods ringing the lake. The third car ran countersurveillance, using night vision goggles to look out for cops and handheld radios to communicate with the others.

That physical force, according to the Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Department, left Trask’s wife of five years in a state of blood-soaked fear, embarrassment and apprehension about her husband’s career.

Dispatch for the law enforcement agency noted that the “female was heavily bleeding [and] she did not know where she was bleeding from,” a criminal information notes. Trask’s wife was still in the bedroom where she was allegedly beaten when she made the 911 call.

As sheriff’s deputies arrived on the scene, unable to locate the front door of the house, the alleged victim came out to meet them.

“[Y]ou could see blood running down from her face with multiple blood stains on her clothes,” Deputy Paul Kidd wrote in the information.

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Gretchen Whitmer kidnapping case raised questions Sunday about whether the FBI is trying to sabotage defense teams ahead of a landmark trial. The request comes despite concerns about the safety of confidential informants and undercover FBI agents who helped infiltrate the alleged plot last fall — and whose names would be expected to appear on a witness list. Defense lawyers are not entitled to witness lists in federal court though judges have discretion to demand the lists be shared before trial.

Gretchen Whitmer . Here's the official FBI affidavit in the case . Read the FBI affidavit in the militia plot to kidnap Gov. Whitmer . Here is the criminal complaint on file in U.S. District Court that details the FBI 's investigation , how they learned about the group, and what led to criminal charges against Read more : Security upgrades underway at governor's Lansing residence before kidnapping threat.

“She had what appeared to be a paper towel as she was attempting to stop the bleeding from the right side of her head,” the document continues. “She appeared to be extremely frightened and she kept repeating herself that she was embarrassed.”

Deputies and a sergeant began searching for the suspect after learning that he had left the scene in his wife’s 2020 Toyota Highlander–one of many vehicles used by the family.

After fruitless searches of locations brainstormed by the three responding officers, Kidd was instructed to head back to the station and prepare his report. On the way, the deputy and his supervisor both got a “ping” and eventually Trask was located.

“After he was secured in my cruiser, I rolled down his window and read his Miranda rights off of the Miranda Rights card issued to me by Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Department,” Kidd noted. “Trask stated that he did understand his rights. I asked him if he wanted to give me a statement regarding what had happened in the night and he stated he did not.”

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  Video Shows Militiamen Training for Gretchen Whitmer's Alleged Planned Kidnapping In the clip, the man—along with others—fires his gun at various targets as he maneuvers behind different barricades to shield himself. Photos released to the media show Croft holding his weapon in various positions as well. In a text message chat, Croft also shared a photo of what is reportedly a bridge near Whitmer's vacation home. According to WLST-TV Chicago, prosecutors allege Croft and the others planned to blow up this bridge as part of their plot to target the Michigan governor.

Gretchen Whitmer . Michigan Office of the Governor via AP, File. That will likely be difficult to pull off in court, especially amid what one defense lawyer called a "haystack" of damning evidence against the suspects, BuzzFeed notes. But the publication's lengthy examination of the case based on "an analysis of court filings, transcripts, exhibits, audio recordings, and other documents , as well as interviews with more than two dozen people with direct knowledge of the case " suggests that some of the informants did play a "far larger role" in the strategizing than has been previously been reported.

The FBI and state police have thwarted a plan by anti -government extremists to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer to set off a "civil war" and build a new society based on the US Bill of Rights. The group discussed different ways of achieving its goals of creating a new self-sufficient society. “At one point, several members talked about state governments they believed were violating the US Constitution, including the government of Michigan – and Governor Gretchen Whitmer ," according to a federal affidavit filed in the case .

But the FBI agent allegedly spoke up at least once while in custody:

While in the backseat of my cruiser, TRASK remained silent with the exception of asking me what his charges were regarding this event. I had told TRASK that he was being lodged at the Kalamazoo County Jail for aggravated domestic violence, assault by strangulation. At this point, he remained quiet for the remainder of the transport. As it was pitch black out due to the time being approximately 04:16 when the arrest was made, when we got into the sally part of the garage, it was clear that TRASK had dried blood all over his body, to include his chest, back, and his hands. During the change out process, the jail nurse had arrived on scene. The jail nurse had verified that there were no injuries on TRASK and that the blood that was on his body did not come from himself.

The alleged incident–and what led up to it–that produced the blood on Trask’s body is described in detail.

According to the document, Trask’s wife told deputies she “was not really into the swinger life” and that this “kept [her husband] at an irritated state” as the couple “attended a couple’s swinger retreat at the Delta Hotel in Oshtemo, Michigan.”

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Upon arriving home, the couple became deeply enmeshed in a verbal argument, the document says.

“While in bed, Trask had gotten on top of [his wife] and then in a physical altercation, grabbed her head and started smashing it against the night table in their bedroom,” the information alleges. “She states that after being struck many times in the face, Trask then put his hands around her neck and started to strangulate her.”

“[Trask’s wife] stated that she had grabbed Trask’s testicles as hard as she could and therefore he had jumped off of her,” she told Kidd in response to a question as to how the incident came to a conclusion. “While the altercation was happening, she states that she was attempting to free herself from Trask and she had attempted to grab his beard multiple times, attempting to rip his head/face away from her body.”

Kidd notes the extent of the injuries photographed that night:

I did start my photos with the case screen on my patrol cruiser. I then took a faraway photo and then worked my way closer to her injuries. As I was taking photos, it was evident that she had several lacerations in her skull, as well severe bruising around her neck and throat area. It did appear that she had minor scrapes on her forearms and hands from trying to defend herself from the assault. Shortly after taking photographs, EMS had arrived on scene.

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As EMS rendered aid to the FBI agent’s wife, she “removed the paper towel [and] she still had blood running out of her right side laceration in her skull.”

While being triaged, sheriff’s deputies were able to obtain Trask’s cellular phone number “as he was actively texting [his wife] stating messages in a hateful manner.”

Those allegedly hateful text messages eventually led police right to the FBI agent who authored the original federal criminal complaint filed against the men who allegedly planned to kidnap Michigan’s Democratic Gov. Whitmer over her COVID-19 mandates.

The couple’s children were, on the advice of authorities, taken to stay with a coworker that night and left while paramedics dealt with the alleged victim’s wounds.

“I had asked [Trasks’s wife] if she was seeking prosecution regarding the assault and she stated no, she did not want to ruin his career,” Kidd noted near the end of his report. “I again reminded her that she needed to talk to the prosecutor regardless of her decision and she stated she understood.”

Note: Trask’s wife is not being named in the story as she is an alleged victim of domestic violence. For that reason, the documents which name her are also not being embedded herein.

[image via Kalamazoo County Jail]

The post Documents Reveal More About Gruesome Abuse Allegations Against Lead FBI Agent on Gretchen Whitmer Kidnapping Case first appeared on Law & Crime.

John Stamos wants his new Sinatra-kidnapping podcast to 'shine a light' on mental illness by telling the controversial story through the kidnapper's eyes .
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usr: 6
This is interesting!