The FBI says it has thwarted a plot to abduct and overthrow Michigan’s Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer.
Mrs Whitmer has become a target of coronavirus sceptics after enacting strict mitigation measures that were overturned by a judge last week.
Officials say the kidnapping plot involved six men and plan to hold a news conference. Mrs Whitmer’s office has yet to comment on the arrests.
In May, armed protesters opposed to lockdown stormed the state capitol.
Armed lockdown protesters in Michigan statehouse
According to a sworn FBI affidavit, an undercover law enforcement source attended a June meeting in Dublin, Ohio, where a group of Michigan-based militia members discussed overthrowing state governments “that they believed were violating the US Constitution”.
“Several members talked about murdering ‘tyrants’ or ‘taking’ a sitting governor,” the charging document states.
Those arrested include Adam Fox, Barry Croft, Kaleb Franks, Daniel Harris. Brandon Casert and Ty Garbin, whose home was raided by authorities on Wednesday.
The group wished to gather about “200 men” to storm the capitol building and take hostages, including the governor. They hoped to enact their plan before the November presidential election. If that failed, they planned to attack the governor at her home, officials say.
The militia members held weapons training in several states, and at times attempted to create bombs that were faulty, the FBI says, adding that their training was captured on video.