Wolverine Watchmen member from Clarkston arraigned on weapons charges

Beth LeBlanc
The Detroit News

A Clarkston man believed to be a member of a Michigan militia group was arraigned Monday on two weapons charges by Attorney General Dana Nessel's office. 

Maxwell Wyckoff, a 22-year-old member of the Wolverine Watchmen, was charged with converting a semiautomatic weapon to an automatic weapon and one count of possessing a silencer device. 

The first felony carries a maximum penalty of four years in prison or a $2,000 fine while the second felony carries up to five years in prison and a $2,500 fine. 

The Munith residence of Pete Musico, 42, and Joseph Morrison, 26, is pictured on Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020.

He was arraigned in front of Oakland County Magistrate Marie Soma and is scheduled to appear before Judge Lisa Asadoorian April 1 for a probably cause conference. His preliminary examination is set for April 8.

The converted weapon and silencer were found at Wyckoff's residence Oct. 7 with a search warrant obtained during a Federal Bureau of Investigation and Michigan State Police investigation into Wolverine Watchmen and the alleged kidnapping plot against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Nessel's office said.

Pete Musico and Joseph Morrison — said to be founding members of the "anti-government, anti-law enforcement" Wolverine Watchmen — were both charged in October in an alleged plot to kidnap the governor and storm the state Capitol to ignite a "civil war." Seven of the 14 people charged in the plot were believed to be members or associates of Wolverine Watchmen. 

Musico and Morrison are among eight men who are being charged in state court, including a man from Wisconsin.

Wyckoff has not been charged in the plot against Whitmer or the state Capitol. But Wyckoff participated in "multiple field training exercises" in Munith with the group, Nessel's office said.

A federal judge has delayed the trial of five men accused of plotting to kidnap Whitmer until Oct. 12 to give defense lawyers more time to prepare. The defendants include Adam Fox of Potterville, Brandon Caserta of Canton Township, Kaleb Franks of Waterford, Daniel Harris of Lake Orion and Barry Croft Jr. of Delaware 

Ty Garbin, 25, of Hartland Township, has pleaded guilty to kidnapping conspiracy — punishable by up to life in prison — after being accused of participating in planning an attack on Whitmer at her vacation home in northern Michigan. Garbin is cooperating with federal authorities and is set to be sentenced July 8.