Michigan State Police stop criminal plot against state lawmaker

Sep 23, 2011

A state prisons spokesman says a potential kidnapping or murder-for-hire threat from an inmate targeting a Michigan state lawmaker has been detected and stopped.

Authorities said Friday that the case remains under investigation and no charges have been filed. They say the plot was being developed by a prisoner in a state correctional facility who has since been isolated from other prisoners. It wasn't immediately known why the prisoner was targeting the lawmaker.

Michigan State Police spokeswoman Shanon Banner and Department of Corrections spokesman Russ Marlan wouldn't release the identities of those involved because the investigation continues.

Banner did not characterize the nature of the plot but said state police don't believe there's a current threat to the safety of the lawmaker.

Marlan said the threat was detected last week.  

  Lansing TV station WILX is reporting that State Representative Barb Byrum was the subject of the threat.  

Byrum, a Democrat from Onondaga, released the following statement: "I want to thank the Michigan State Police for uncovering this plot. Because this is an active and ongoing investigation, and to protect the privacy of my family, I will be making no further comments about this matter."

Sources tell wilx.com the suspect planned to have Byrum kidnapped and used as a bargaining chip to get an inmate released. Corrections spokesman Russ Marlan will only confirm the plot was discovered last week. State Police aren't releasing any other information because this is an ongoing investigation.