Three Pembroke men are behind bars after federal agents, with the help of numerous local law enforcement agencies, charged them with kidnapping two Bryan County businessmen.
Antonio Lamont Murray, 38; Cecil Dewitt Nelson, 32; and Gary Lenion McDonald, 35, all from undisclosed Pembroke addresses, were charged Friday with kidnapping and had first appearances Saturday and Monday before United States Magistrate Judge G.R. Smith, said United States Attorney Edward J. Tarver, of the Southern District of Georgia.
“All three defendants remain in custody pending detention hearings, which have yet to be scheduled,” he said.
Court affidavits state the three suspects were “involved in two separate kidnappings” in Bryan County on Dec. 1, 2011, and Jan. 12.
The victim’s names have not been released. The first victim was abducted at gunpoint and released after the suspects received a $19,000 ransom, Tarver said.
He suspects demanded a higher ransom for the second victim -- $250,000, he said. He was also kidnapped at gunpoint. Neither victim was reported to have been harmed.
“The violent and brazen kidnappings alleged in the criminal complaint are acts none too familiar in today’s society,” he said. “When these outrageous acts occur, those responsible must be found and prosecuted to the fullest extent that the law allows. The United States Attorney’s Office has no higher priority than protecting the American people.”
The maximum penalty for the kidnapping offense against all three defendants is life in prison, he said
Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent-in-Charge Brian D. Lamkin said “The surrounding law enforcement community, as a whole, came together in response to two serious and violent kidnappings and, as a result much headway has been made in the form of today’s announced arrest.”
Sheriff’s offices of Bulloch, Bryan, Liberty, and Tattnall counties, as well as Richmond Hill, Pooler, Pembroke and Hinesville police assisted the FBI with the investigation. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Georgia State Patrol, United States Marshals Office and Naval Criminal Investigations Service also assisted.
“While much headway has been made, this matter remains pending and the FBI and its law enforcement partners asks that anyone with information regarding this matter contact Savannah CrimeStoppers or their nearest law enforcement agency,” Lamkin said.
The investigation “remains ongoing,” he said.
Anyone having information relating to the two alleged kidnappings are urged to call the Savannah CrimeStoppers Tip Line at (912) 234-2020.
Holli Deal Bragg may be reached at (912) 489-9414.