In 2012, Wake County Assistant District Attorney Colleen Janssen sent Kevin Melton, reputed, high-ranking Bloods member in North Carolina to life in prison. Melton was convicted of ordering subordinates to execute a failed hit attempt on his ex-girfriend’s new boyfriend in 2011. Locking Melton away for the rest of his life was supposed to be the end of a lengthy criminal career. His record of felony convictions began in New York City in 1979 for a robbery he pulled when he was 14. Melton had spent more than 13 years in New York lockups, on manslaughter and robbery charges, until August 2011, a month before the shooting that sunk him. However, according to the laws, Melton, 51, wasn’t going to go away silently. Today, he will stand trial for the revenge kidnapping of Janssen’s father.
Authorities say Melton used a smuggled cellphone to target the Wake County prosecutor who put him away for the Raleigh shooting. But Melton’s crew botched the plan by going to the wrong address and instead snatched the prosecutor’s father.
Frank Janssen was rescued after the FBI tracked cellphone traffic to Melton’s prison cell and authorities stormed an Atlanta apartment where Janssen was held, according to court records. Janssen’s captors were apparently finalizing details to kill him and dispose of his body.
Janssen’s father, Frank Janssen was abducted from is home in Wake Forest in 2014 and taken to Atlanta, according to the FBI. Text messages were sent to Frank Janssen’s wife making unspecified demands for her husband’s release. One text, sent along with a photo of Jassen tied up, read: “Tomorrow we call you again an if you can not tell me where my things are at tomorrow i will start torchering.”
The FBI claims a call from Melton to one of the phones associated with kidnapping was made, to allegedly discuss how to kill Frank Janssen and dispose of his body. “We want to make sure it’s in a secluded area and the ground is soft so we can go 3 feet deep,” said one of the men. The other man on the line reportedly instructed, “Make sure to clean the area up. Don’t leave anything. Don’t leave any DNA behind.” When the feds moved in to bust the kidnappers, a .45 caliber gun was seized, along with picks and a shovel found in an SUV.
Charges against eight of Melton’s alleged co-conspirators are pending. Chason Renee Chase, a South Carolina woman and alleged gangbanger pleaded guilty to deceiving FBI agents in their search for Frank Janssen. She was sentenced to three months in the feds.
Mobile phones were confiscated from inmates in North Carolina’s prisons 858 times in 2013, 691 times in 2014 and 546 times in 2015, the state Department of Public Safety said.
Since the kidnapping, prison officials have deployed sniffing dogs and more frequent searches to find cellphones and North Carolina has made it a felony to supply a state inmate with one. The agency also has $3.5 million for future contracts to set up cellular umbrellas over two high-security prisons that would only allow authorized devices to work.