Suspects in federal custody after kidnapping NC man - FOX 35 News Orlando

Suspects in federal custody after kidnapping NC man

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Frank Arthur Janssen (Photo released by the Wake Forest Police Department) Frank Arthur Janssen (Photo released by the Wake Forest Police Department)

Five people are in federal custody on kidnapping charges after a massive multi-agency rescue operation led by the FBI. Authorities said 63-year-old Frank Jansen was abducted from his North Carolina home and held in an apartment in Atlanta.

Frank Arthur Janssen had been the target of a kidnapping plot and was safely rescued by the highly trained team shortly before noon on Wednesday from an apartment in the leading Georgia city, FBI spokeswoman Shelley Lynch said in a statement.

The FBI statement said Janssen was reported missing April 5 from his Wake Forest, N.C., home. The FBI said a coordinated investigation by the FBI, Wake Forest police and other law enforcement agencies had determined that Janssen had been the victim of a kidnapping and was being held in an apartment complex in Atlanta's southeast section.

Prosecutors believe the abduction was an act of retaliation. The victim's daughter is a prosecutor who puts away gang members. And in an interesting twist, authorities said the alleged ring leader of the vicious plot is an inmate serving a life sentence.

Janssen's family was notified of Janssen's rescue after the team freed the man at about 11:55 p.m. Wednesday.

Federal prosecutors said Jansen was taken down with a stun gun, thrown into a trunk and tortured for days. On Thursday, Jenna Martin, Tianna Maynard, Javante Price, Michael Gooden and Clifton Roberts all sat in a federal court room, facing charges of conspiracy and kidnapping.

Prosecutors say the plot was hatched by Kevin Melton, an inmate serving a life sentence in North Carolina. Officials said it was Jansen's daughter who prosecuted Melton on federal drug charges. Melton was using a hidden cell phone inside the jail to give orders.

Authorities say Jansen is back in North Carolina safe and sound. Those accused of kidnapping him will also head back to North Carolina to face federal conspiracy charges.

The FBI describes its Hostage Rescue Team on the agency website as a national level counterterrorist unit, offering a tactical option for any extraordinary hostage crisis or other law enforcement situation in the U.S. The FBI says the unit, established in 1983, responds to the most urgent and complex FBI cases.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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