Local News

Suspect in failed plot to kidnap Wake prosecutor to stay in federal custody

Posted May 22, 2014

Kelvin Melton

— A high-ranking Bloods gang member accused of orchestrating a failed plot to kidnap a Wake County assistant prosecutor will remain in federal custody, a U.S. magistrate judge ruled Thursday.

Kelvin Melton, 49, faces numerous federal charges in the April 5 abduction of Frank Janssen, 63, who last month was taken at gunpoint from his Wake Forest home and held in an Atlanta apartment until the FBI rescued him a week later.

Federal indictments allege Melton's intended target was Janssen's daughter, Assistant District Attorney Colleen Janssen, who sent Melton to prison two years ago for the rest of his life for his role in a shooting involving his ex-girlfriend's boyfriend.

The indictments say, however, that Frank Janssen's alleged captors went to the wrong home and kidnapped him instead.

Authorities say they then tormented the Janssen family with text messages threatening to cut him into pieces if police were called or their demands weren't met.

Eight other people have been indicted in the case, but investigators say Melton was the mastermind. He allegedly used a cellphone while at Polk Correctional Institution, a state facility in Butner, to carry out the scheme.

An FBI witness told the court Thursday that Melton wanted out of prison. Melton's attorney also said that the alleged kidnappers were trying to get money out of Melton.

Judge James E. Gates ordered that Melton stay in federal custody because of the seriousness and circumstances of the crime and Melton's criminal history.

Court records show Melton has a long record of felony convictions in New York, the first being a 1979 robbery committed when he was 14. He pleaded guilty to manslaughter and robbery in 1998 and served more than 13 years in New York prisons before being released in August 2011.


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  • ncprr1 May 23, 2014

    I agree with BREJ32433. Can you please stop referring to this guy as a "Mastermind"?

  • brej32433 May 23, 2014

    Is there any reason why he "would not" stay in Federal custody?? I don't understand the point of this story. He was already serving life...now he faces more charges! Was there a legal attempt to release him for some reason? Please explain what I am missing here! And for Heaven's sake stop calling him a "Mastermind!"

  • Forthe Newssite May 22, 2014
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    There has always been mistakes, both grammatical and incorrect word usage, not to mention spelling. But yep, stories staying up way to long. Guess a comment asking to take it down is better than no comment at all :(

  • Anita Woody May 22, 2014

    Wow... WRAL reports he has a "say" in federal custody?

    Has anyone else noticed the stories are getting stale and stay posted on here now for weeks since the launch of the new site, and there are a lot more grammatical errors?

  • no contest May 22, 2014

    Check the headline. The word should be "stay" not "say".

  • larky74406 May 22, 2014

    "Suspect in failed plot to kidnap Wake prosecutor to say in federal custody" You have got to be kidding me! WRAL reads every comment before posting, but apparently nobody is proofreading the news or headlines.