FBI: Kidnapping of St. Matthews man was part of elaborate crime ring
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The FBI says law enforcement agencies from throughout the United States helped rescue a St. Matthews man who was kidnapped and taken to Cumberland County, NC.
FBI officials say the 23-year-old man was kidnapped earlier this month in St. Matthews by a group of people involved in "an elaborate plot with an international nexus."
"The victim was on his way to work," FBI Special Agent in Charge David Thomas said. "The kidnappers used a ruse as a law enforcement person to pull him over. He was immediately snatched out of his truck and he was abducted."
Thomas says a neighbor came out and saw the truck in their driveway with the door open and the motor still running. At that point, the neighbor contacted the Calhoun County Sheriff's Department to investigate.
The man was rescued at about 5 a.m. Tuesday morning at a house in Cumberland County, NC. Three people were arrested and investigators say they expect to make more arrests.
"The investigation quickly escalated into a large-scale international effort after the Calhoun County Sheriff's office contacted the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division and subsequently the FBI on July 9 and 10 about a missing person's case," said a news release from the FBI.
"Demands were sent to the victim's family within hours of his disappearance and continued over a period of several days," the release continued. "FBI agents in South Carolina and North Carolina were in constant contact with other law enforcement agencies and departments across the country during the investigation and execution of the mission."
In addition to the South Carolina and North Carolina law enforcement agencies involved in the case, FBI officials credited investigators at field offices in Atlanta, Houston, Jacksonville, Newark, New Haven, Norfolk, New York, Philadelphia, Washington and LEGAT Mexico City for their help in the search.
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