Prosecutors asked a federal judge to sentence Garbin to about nine years in prison, praising his cooperation.
“It’s hard to overstate the extent of Mr. Garbin’s cooperation here,” a federal prosecutor told the court. “He didn’t hold back. He would walk right out and say, ‘We planned to do this and I purposely was a part of it.’ “
Attorneys for Garbin asked the judge for a sentence of no more than six years, citing his cooperation, which they say put him in danger.
Authorities transferred Garbin to another prison pending sentencing in an attempt to protect him from retaliation by his accomplices, according to court documents.
Garbin spoke briefly in court Wednesday to apologize to Whitmer and her family.
“Your honor, first of all, I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to Governor Gretchen Whitmer and her family. I have had a lot of time to reflect on my actions. And I never have. I now realize what my actions will do to her, but also to her family,” he said. “I can’t even imagine the level of stress and fear that family members feel. Her family feels for my actions. And I’m really sorry for that.”
Garbin said he will be working with an advocacy group to continue to combat radicalization of himself and to help others from radicalization.
In making his decision from the bench, District Judge Robert Jonker said he believes Garbin is indeed on the path to rehabilitation.
“He’s definitely changed his behavior. I think he’s also changed his heart and his mind. And I think he’s a great prospect to be on the road to law-abiding when it comes to law enforcement. he’s done paying the price for these very serious mistakes,” the judge said.
Jonker read parts of a victim impact statement the governor filed before sentencing.
“There is room for grace and restoration for those who recognize the liberated danger and assist in unearthing the hatred that has taken root in our society. This will help re-establish ideals and aspiration has made our nation a beacon of possibility and opportunity to the rest of the world,” wrote Whitmer.
She is not claiming financial compensation.
The indictment alleges that between June 6 and October 7, 2020, the men conspired to “illegally arrest, kidnap, kidnap and carry away, and hold for ransom.” ransom and reward” Whitmer. Authorities said the men planned to kidnap the governor from a motel and blow up a bridge to delay law enforcement, but they were arrested first.
In addition to those charged in federal court, several others have been charged in this case by the state.
The FBI learned of the alleged scheme in early 2020 through a social media group, according to a federal criminal complaint, The Detroit News reported.
CNN’s Devan Cole contributed to this report.