The kidnapping of a 63-year old man from Wake Forest, North Carolina over the weekend was reportedly part of a plot aimed at exacting revenge on an assistant district attorney, according to the FBI.
29-year old Clifton James Robert, 21-year old Jenna Paulin Martin, 20-year old Tiana Maynard, 20-year old Jevante Price, and 21-year old Michael Montreal Gooden all face federal kidnapping charges after they took Frank Janssen from his home by force, kept him in an apartment, and sent photos to his wife that showed him tied up with the threat that he would be tortured and eventually dismembered. The group had ties to a prisoner named Kevin Melton, who is serving a life sentence after being prosecuted by Janssen’s daughter.
Melton, a longtime member of the Bloods with a long rap sheet, reportedly kept in close contact with the kidnappers via a cell phone he’d smuggled into prison. The phone calls were tracked by the FBI after Janssen’s wife discovered him missing, with drops of blood around the home, and eventually the calls led authorities to an apartment complex where Janssen was being held.
“I’m honored and humbled to say Frank Janssen is safe and back with his family today,” said FBI special agent in charge John Strong. “We can only imagine the uncertainty, confusion and fear he experienced.”
The Department of Public Safety is now investigating how Melton was able to smuggle the phone into his cell and say they will take action if they find out that any of the prison staff were involved.
“The department is deeply concerned about any corrupting influence by inmates against Adult Correction employees and will aggressively investigate and take action against offenders and staff involved in using cellphones to conduct criminal activity from inside prison walls,” Secretary Frank L. Perry said. “It will continue its ongoing efforts with increased intensity toward stopping contraband from entering any of its facilities.”