NC Prosecutor’s Father Rescued in Dramatic FBI Raid

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  • WAKE FOREST, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina man whose daughter prosecutes violent crimes was rescued by an elite FBI team after he was kidnapped and terrorized for five days in what authorities described as an act of retaliation involving the Bloods street gang.

    Five people were arrested following a late night raid by the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team on an Atlanta apartment.

    During the abduction, the kidnappers took a picture of Frank Arthur Janssen tied up in a chair and sent it to his wife, threatening to torture and dismember him if she went to police, according to court documents.

    John Strong, the FBI’s agent in charge for North Carolina, said the kidnapping was related to Janssen’s daughter’s prosecution of Kelvin Melton, who is serving a life sentence for ordering the shooting of a man in 2011. Melton, 49, was convicted of being a habitual felon, and assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill.

    According to the criminal complaint, Melton had a mobile phone in his prison cell and was in constant contact with the alleged kidnappers. Authorities closed in on the suspects by tracking their cellphones and listening to their calls.

    Court documents said a woman knocked on Janssen’s door Saturday at his Wake Forest home in a quiet, upscale, golf course subdivision. Several people assaulted him and someone used a stun gun. He was then driven to Atlanta and his wife, Christie, reported him missing.

    On Monday, she started receiving a series of text messages from a phone in Georgia. One of the texts said if law enforcement was contacted, “we will send (Mr. Janssen) back to you in 6 boxes and every chance we get we will take someone in your family to Italy and torture them and kill them … we will do drive by and gun down anybody.”

    The messages made specific ransom demands for the benefit of Melton, an inmate at Polk Correctional Institution in Butner, N.C., but the details were not spelled out in the court filings and authorities did not answer questions at a news conference.

    A federal law enforcement official, speaking on condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to discuss an ongoing investigation, told The Associated Press that the kidnapping was an act of retaliation and that the communications of those involved suggested a link to the Bloods. The official had been briefed on the investigation.

    Court documents from Melton’s 2012 conviction in North Carolina also list his affiliation with the gang. Records show he was prosecuted by Wake County Assistant District Attorney Colleen Janssen.

    At 12:19 a.m. Wednesday, Janssen’s wife received a text photograph of him tied up along with a message: “Tomorrow we call you again an if you can not tell me where my things are at tomorrow i will start torchering.”

    At 8:20 p.m., a call was placed between Melton and a phone associated with the kidnappers. The two male callers said:

    “The first spot we are checking out is close to the house.”

    “We want to make sure it’s in a secluded area and the ground is soft so we can go 3 feet deep.”

    “Get a bag, put it over his head, and stuff something in his mouth.”

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