GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The first of 5 men facing federal charges in the alleged plot to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer is expected to be sentenced Wednesday to a prison term around 9 years, while his co-defendants gear up to mount an entrapment defense at their trials.
Ty Garbin is the only defendant, of the 5 men charged in the alleged plot federally, to enter into a plea deal with prosecutors. Garbin has agreed to cooperate fully with the government, and testify against his co defendants when their cases eventually end up going to trial.
Garbin will be sentenced at federal courthouse in downtown Grand Rapids Wednesday afternoon.
Based on pre-established sentencing guidelines, and a criminal background score, Garbin was initially looking at a sentence of somewhere between 14 to 17.5 years in prison.
Because of his cooperation with the government, prosecutors have filed a motion with the court, asking the judge to impose a sentence closer to the 9 year mark.
“In just about every conspiracy case, you will have at least one cooperating defendant,” Anastase Markou, an associate attorney with Levine and Levine, told FOX 17.
“One thing that does happen is that certain people are essentially offered cooperation deals, and that can sometimes strongly support the government's case.”
As part of his deal, Garbin has to turn over all of his firearms, ammunition, and related gear to the government. A list of these items set to forfeited that was recently filed with the court ran 6 and a half pages long.
“Other times those cooperation deals just point out that this whole entire case is built on the government creating, essentially, a false narrative or a false crime,” Markou said.
"One way that the defense would show that is, you know, they gave this guy a great deal because they really don't have a case otherwise."
Lawyers for the remaining 4 men facing federal conspiracy charges are working to present an entrapment defense at trial, insisting that the government is the true architect of any supposed plot.
"They invited and encouraged him [Adam Fox] to participate in the events they now claim are overt acts in support of the crimes alleged," a lawyer wrote in a recent motion filed with the court.
The defense teams continue to request more evidence from the prosecutors, particularly all undercover video and audio recordings that were made through the use of confidential human informants.
The government, so far, has said no, arguing that much of it is privileged or not relevant to the case.
“If I were the defense, I would certainly want all of the audio and video. It's extraordinarily difficult to sort through it all, but the bottom line is that the government chose to investigate this case in a very particular way... they chose to obtain all this video, they chose to obtain all this audio,” Markou told FOX 17.
“And, how can the defense legitimately assess that type of argument, and how much it might sway or not sway a jury, unless they have the ability to assess that ahead of trial. Can't do that without having the material.”
FOX 17 will be at Garbin's sentencing Wednesday afternoon, and plans to bring you all the updates live as they happen.