The FBI says it thwarted a plot to kidnap and overthrow Michigan Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer.
Ms Whitmer has become a target of coronavirus skeptics after adopting strict mitigation measures that were overturned by a judge last week.
Officials say the kidnapping plot involved six men and plan to hold a press conference. Ms Whitmer’s office has yet to comment on the arrests.
In May, armed protesters opposing the lockdown stormed the state capital.
Armed Lockdown Protesters in Michigan State
According to a sworn FBI affidavit, a secret law enforcement source attended a June meeting in Dublin, Ohio, where a group of Michigan-based militiamen discussed the overthrow of state governments “which they say violated the American Constitution ”.
“Several members have spoken of assassinating ‘tyrants’ or of ‘taking’ a sitting governor,” the indictment said.
Among those arrested are Adam Fox, Barry Croft, Kaleb Franks, Daniel Harris. Brandon Casert and Ty Garbin, whose home was raided by authorities on Wednesday.
The group wanted to assemble around “200 men” to storm the Capitol building and take hostages, including the governor. They hoped to implement their plan before the presidential election in November. If that failed, they planned to attack the governor at his home, officials said.
Members of the militia organized weapons training in several states and occasionally attempted to create faulty bombs, the FBI said, adding that their training was filmed.