It started in October of 2012, when Wake County Assistant District Attorney Colleen Janssen prosecuted a case against Kelvin Melton for assault with a deadly weapon. Previously identified as a leader in the Bloods street gang, Kelvin had a long rap sheet, and this final conviction put him away for life without parole. When Kelvin’s final appeal was shot down, he decided to retaliate against the prosecutor.
From his prison cell, Kelvin began planning to kidnap the District Attorney’s father. Using a contraband cell phone that was somehow smuggled in to him, he coordinated with at least five other people. On April 5th, a woman knocked on Frank Janssen’s front door. The DA’s father was then shocked with a taser and kidnapped.
When Frank Janssen was discovered to have gone missing, his wife reported it to the police and an APB was issued. On Monday night, Frank’s wife began receiving text messages from the kidnappers, stating that Frank was locked in a car trunk. The kidnappers texted: “We will send [him] back to you in six boxes and every chance we get we will take someone in your family to Italy and torture them and kill them … we will drive by and gun down anybody” and “throw a grenade in your window.”
The demands the kidnappers gave in exchange for the safe release of Frank Janssen were that all charges be dropped against Kelvin Melton. The local police informed the FBI, as they believed that they were dealing with a kidnapping that crossed state lines, a felony offense which would involve the federal government. Furthermore, a case like this was an attempt by criminals to hold the US justice system hostage by intimidating the DA who prosecuted Kelvin.