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Federal jury finds gangleader guilty of kidnapping

In April 2014, a man convicted of an attempted murder in 2012 orchestrated a kidnapping. The target was the father of the prosecutor who sent him to prison for life for that attempted murder.

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the man used cellphones that were smuggled into the Butner Correctional Center to tell gang members what to do during the kidnapping. The FBI intercepted a phone call five days later and found out that the gang members were told to kill the prosecutor's father. A hostage recovery team with the FBI raided the Atlanta apartment and recused the man.

The gang members who had tried to carry out the 51-year-old's orders testified against him. The defense attorney said that the testimony should not be considered because the gang members were not credible.

The gang leader testified, too, saying that the plot was "stupid." He said that if he had wanted revenge against the prosecutor, he wouldn't have assigned the low-level gang members to the task.

Prosecutors said that the man did want revenge, though. They believe he wanted to have leverage with the prosecutor during an appeal. In addition, the defense didn't disprove the cellphone tracking information.

The man could receive three life sentences, plus an additional 20 years and a fine of up to $250,000.

Federal crimes carry serious penalties and there are often minimum sentencing requirements. You need an attorney who has experience in federal court in order to level the playing field. These cases are often quite complicated and can involve many state and federal agencies. Your attorney can help you determine how to build a strong defense against federal charges.

Source: abc11.com, "Gang leader guilty of Wake County prosecutor's father kidnapping," Ed Crump, June 21, 2016

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