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Wisconsin Dells man charged in attempt to kidnap Michigan governor re-arrested

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Posted at 5:10 PM, Nov 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-18 18:17:53-05

WISCONSIN DELLS — The Wisconsin Dells man charged in the alleged attempt to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was arrested for a second time, in an effort to get him extradited to Michigan to face charges.

The warrant for Brian Higgins' arrest was issued Wednesday after Gov. Tony Evers and Whitmer submitted paperwork for his extradition.

Higgins was out on $10,000 bail following his extradition hearing in Columbia County on Oct. 19. Prosecutors had previously charged Higgins with providing material support for terrorist acts, a felony that could land him up to 20 years behind bars.

Prosecutors say Higgins joined a group called the Wolverine Watchmen who had been conspiring for months to kidnap Gov. Whitmer. Court records claim Higgins traveled to western Michigan with the militia group in September to surveil Whitmer’s vacation home in preparation for the abduction. Higgins is one of 14 men charged in the case.

Higgins’ attorney, Christopher Van Wagner, argued in a court filing this week that the extradition paperwork for Higgins is improper because it was signed by Michigan Gov. Whitmer, who was the target of the alleged kidnapping attempt, thus a conflict of interest, the Detroit Free Press reports.

Online court records show Wagner says Higgins will turn himself into the Columbia County Sheriff's Office. The attorney also requested an initial appearance once Higgins is in custody. A judge decided that when Higgins is in custody, he will be held without bail.

This is the second high-profile extradition effort in Wisconsin in recent months. Prosecutors successfully extradited Kyle Rittenhouse, accused in the Kenosha shooting, back to Wisconsin.

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