Suspect in failed plot to kidnap Wake prosecutor to stay in federal custody
Posted May 22, 2014
Wake Forest, N.C. — 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.