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3 men accused of federal crimes after drug-related kidnapping

Three men are facing federal allegations after they apparently kidnapped an area man after a drug deal gone wrong. Official reports show that the trio, ages 22, 26 and 57, have been charged with federal crimes including kidnapping. The defendants appeared in a federal court in North Carolina, but they may be extradited to South Carolina to actually face trial. They are accused of not only kidnapping the man, but also demanding ransom and holding the victim at gunpoint.

Official reports say that the men are accused of kidnapping a 23-year-old victim. That man was involved with an organization that engaged in drug sales, and he had apparently previously delivered about 200 pounds of marijuana to a customer. The victim gave the drugs to the customer, expecting financial compensation for the drugs at a later time. However, that client apparently made off with the marijuana and never paid the man. The drug group, based in Mexico, decided to hold the victim and his father accountable for the loss of $200,000 -- the cost of the missing drugs. When they could not pay the bill, the victim stopped working for the Mexican trafficking group.

Authorities say that the victim was taken to North Carolina after being forced into a vehicle with the kidnappers. Negotiations began after the man's fiancee was contacted by a kidnapper. Federal agents reportedly posed as the victim's family members and were ultimately able to locate the kidnapped individual. The man was allegedly found chained and blindfolded while being guarded by two of the defendants.

Federal criminal charges such as those faced by the defendants in this case may be far more serious than those handed down in state courts. In fact, the legal strategy for defending federal cases may be significantly different from other types of criminal defense. It is critical for those who are accused of federal crimes to understand their legal rights and responsibilities in the courtroom in order to increase the likelihood of a favorable outcome.

Source: The State, "Drug deal gone bad led to Calhoun County kidnapping, FBI says" Rachael Myers Lowe and Harrison Cahill, Jul. 16, 2014

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