LANSING, Mich. (CBS Detroit) — Three known members of the Wolverine Watchmen who are facing charges for allegedly being involved in the plot to storm the state Capitol building and kidnap elected officials will stand trial for their involvement, Attorney General Dana Nessel announced.

“We must send a clear message that those who seek to do violence against our institutions of democracy and our elected representatives are not patriots; they are criminals,” said Nessel.

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“My office is pleased to see this case move forward and to have the opportunity to hold these men accountable for their actions.”

Joseph Morrison, Paul Bellar, and Pete Musico appeared in court Monday for a preliminary exam before Judge Michael Klaeren of the 12th District Court in Jackson County, where they were bound over and will stand trial for their part in the alleged plot.

Morrison, 26, of Munith, was bound over on the following charges:

  • Gang membership, a 20-year felony that may be served as a consecutive sentence;
  • Providing material support for terrorist acts; and
  • Carrying or possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony; felony firearm – a two-year mandatory prison sentence to be served consecutively.

Bellar, 21, of Milford, was bound over on the following charges:

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  • Providing material support for terrorist acts, a 20-year felony and/or $20,000 fine;
  • Gang membership, a 20-year felony, which may be served as a consecutive sentence; and
  • Carrying or possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony; felony firearm – a two-year mandatory prison sentence to be served consecutively.

Musico, 42, of Munith, was bound over on the following charges:

  • Gang membership, a 20-year felony that may be served as a consecutive sentence;
  • Providing material support for terrorist acts, a 20-year felony and/or $20,000 fine; and
  • Carrying or possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony; felony firearm – a two-year mandatory prison sentence to be served consecutively.

These three men are just a few of the several arrested on domestic terrorism charges after a joint operation by state and federal authorities exposed a plot. The plot included targeting law enforcement officers, threatening violence to incite a civil war, planning an attack on the state Capitol building, and kidnapping government officials, including Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Judge Klaeren ruled that the defendants will not be tried on charges of a threat of terrorism and the Attorney General will explore all options for reconsideration of the charge moving forward.

The Antrim County defendants, in this case, will appear for a preliminary examination in Traverse City on April 14-16.

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