An Atlanta kidnapping crew scheming to nab a North Carolina prosecutor went to the wrong address and, instead, grabbed the attorney’s father, authorities said.
In a federal indictment released today charging nine people in connection with the abduction of Frank Janssen, prosecutors said a hired crew was contracted to snatch his daughter, Wake County, N.C., Assistant District Attorney Colleen Janssen, at the behest of a man she had put in prison for life.
And eight people face life in federal prison for following the direction of Kelvin Melton, the ring leader who’d already been convicted for giving felonious orders, authorities said.
Twice, apparent bungling led the cohorts to the wrong place, according to the indictment obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
In March, an Internet search led the alleged conspirators to an address for the North Carolina prosecutor … in Louisiana.
So an armed team rented a car and drove to Louisiana on what proved to be a fruitless mission.
“Despite traveling from Georgia to Louisiana and taking various other steps to carry out the kidnapping plot, the participants aborted the plot prior to completing the abduction,” the indictment read.
And on April 5, prosecutors said four people drove a rented car from Atlanta to Wake Forest with information they believed pointed them to the home of Colleen Janssen.
They found, instead, her father, and according to prosecutors, left a receipt at Frank Janssen’s home from a meal stop they made earlier that day en route to their target.
Investigators would eventually find the receipt and track it to a McDonald’s restaurant in Lexington, S.C., where surveillance video would help identify two of the suspects, authorities said.
Frank Janssen was pistol-whipped and shocked with an electronic stun gun multiple times, both at his home as he was taken and on the trip back to Atlanta, prosecutors said.
Five days later, an FBI kidnap rescue unit located and freed him safely from a southeast Atlanta apartment just as the crew made plans to kill him, authorities said.
Prosecutors said the ring leader, Kelvin Melton, sought revenge against Colleen Janssen, who successfully prosecuted his murder trial for ordering a 2011 hit.
Law enforcement officials are still looking for Patricia Kramer, the 29-year-old woman prosecutors said funded both kidnapping trips and did the research that found not one, but two wrong addresses.
She is charged along with Melton, Michael Montreal Gooden, Tianna Maynard, Jakym Camel Tibbs, Quantavious “Kirkwood Quan” Thompson, Clifton James Roberts, Jenna Palin Martin and Jevante Price with conspiracy to commit violations of the federal kidnapping statute, according to the federal indictment.
Kramer is also charged with Price, Gooden and Melton with attempted kidnapping and aiding and abetting the same.
Melton, whom federal prosecutors say directed the entire plan from a contraband mobile phone in a North Carolina prison cell, is charged along with Price and Gooden with using and carrying a firearm during and relation to attempted kidnapping.
Kramer is the only suspect not named in a count of kidnapping and aiding and abetting the same. Melton, Thompson, Tibbs and Maynard are charged with use, carrying, and brandishing a firearm during and in relation to, and possessing a firearm in furtherance of a kidnapping and aiding and abetting the same.
Melton remains in a state prison in Blufton, N.C., authorities said.
Tibbs was arrested early Monday morning in Harrisburg, Pa., and appeared later that afternoon before a federal judge, FBI officials said.
Martin and Maynard were arrested along with Price, Roberts and Gooden on April 10.
Thompson, who was arrested on April 16, will appear before a federal judge in Atlanta on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m., along with Gooden, Price and Roberts.