Indictment: Prosecutor was target of Wake Forest kidnapping
by WNCN Staff
Kevin Melton had been prosecuted by Janssen’s daughter and Melton was serving a sentence of life without parole.
WILMINGTON, N.C. -
An indictment released Tuesday paints a horrifying picture of the kidnapping of a Wake Forest man whose daughter prosecuted a high-ranking member of the Bloods street gang - and says the abductors had planned to kidnap the daughter but got the wrong address.
Nine people have been indicted in connection with the April 5 of kidnapping Frank Arthur Janssen, who was taken from his home in Wake Forest and rescued five days later when FBI agents raided an Atlanta apartment.
A federal grand jury returned a multi-count indictment Tuesday charging Kelvin Melton, 49, Quantavious Thompson, 18 or 19, Jakym Camel Tibbs, 21, Tianna Daney Maynard, 30, Jenna Martin, 21, Clifton James Roberts, 29, Patricia Ann Kramer, 28, Jevante Price, 20, and Michael Martrell Gooden, 21, with conspiracy to commit violations of the kidnapping statute.
If convicted on the conspiracy to commit kidnapping charge, all of the suspects face a maximum penalty of life imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.
Authorities said the kidnapping was related to Janssen's daughter's prosecution of Melton, who is serving a life sentence for ordering the shooting of a man in 2011. Melton was convicted of being a habitual felon and assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill.
According to the indictment, Melton used a cellphone in his prison cell in Polk Correctional Institution to instruction Maynard and Kramer to travel from Atlanta to North Carolina to kidnap Janssen's daughter, Colleen Janssen. Colleen Janssen is a Wake County prosecutor.
The kidnappers planned to kidnap Colleen Janssen, documents say. But in researching Colleen Janssen’s address, Maynard found Frank Janssen's address instead, the indictment said.
On April 5, Maynard, Tibbs and Thompson picked up Martin and began traveling to Wake Forest, during which Melton instructed them to purchase khakis and collared shirts to wear during the abduction.
When they arrived at Frank Janssen's home, the indictment said Martin knocked on his door with a clipboard in hand while Thompson held a handgun and Tibbs held a stun gun behind Martin.
The indictments said Thompson and Tibbs forced their way into Frank Janssen's home when he answered the door. During the course of the abduction, Tibbs used the stun gun on him and Thompson pistol-whipped him. Janssen's hands were bound with zip ties and he was forced into the backseat of their rented vehicle.
Over the course of their trip back to Atlanta, the indictment said Thompson and Tibbs used the stun gun on Frank Janssen and pistol whipped him dozens of times, the indictment said.
Melton instructed Martin to send text messages to Frank Janssen's wife, including a threat to "send him back in 6 boxes" if law enforcement was contacted.
"Every chance we get, we will take someone in you [sic] family to Italy and torture them and killed them," a text message read. "We will do a drive by and we will throw grenades in you [sic] window."
Frank Janssen's wife also received a text message from the kidnappers with a photo of her husband tied to a chair and seated in a closet. Along with the photo, the message said, "Tomorrow we call you again an [sic] if you can not tell me where my things are … I will start torchering [sic]."
If his demands were not met, the indictment said Melton instructed Roberts to kill Frank Janssen and dispose of his body. And on April 9, Melton received a text message saying, "We got car, spot, and shovel."
Authorities have said in court documents they tracked the kidnappers by their cellphones and the FBI monitored a phone call Melton placed from his cell to an Atlanta phone number linked to the kidnappers.
When corrections officers tried entering his cell, Melton smashed the phone. Hours later, Janssen was found alive in the Atlanta apartment.
In addition to the conspiracy to commit kidnapping charge, Melton, Kramer, Price and Gooden were also indicted on charges of attempted kidnapping and aiding and abetting the same.
Melton, Price and Gooden were indicted on charges of using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to attempted kidnapping and aiding and abetting the same.
Melton, Thompson, Tibb, Maynard, Martin, Roberts, Price and Gooden were indicted on charges of kidnapping and aiding and abetting the same.
Melton, Thompson, Tibbs and Maynard were indicted on charges of 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.
Authorities have said Melton is a high-ranking member of the Bloods street gang from New York City.