Antonio Lamont Murray, 38, Cecil Dewitt Nelson, 32, and Gary Lenion McDonald, 35, all of Pembroke, were charged with kidnapping in federal court in Savannah over the weekend.
McDonald's initial appearance was Saturday in before U.S. Magistrate Judge G.R. Smith.
Initial appearances for Murray and Nelson were held today, also before Smith. All three defendants remain in custody pending detention hearings, which have yet to be scheduled.
An affidavit in support of the complaint alleges that Murray, Nelson and McDonald were involved in two separate kidnappings in Bryan County. The first kidnapping allegedly occurred on Dec. 1. During this incident, the victim was abducted at gunpoint and later released after a ransom of approximately $19,000 was paid. The second kidnapping allegedly on Jan. 12. The second victim was also abducted at gunpoint and released after a ransom of more than $250,000 was paid.
U.S. Attorney Edward J. Tarver said, "The violent and brazen kidnappings alleged in the criminal complaint are acts none too familiar in today's society. When these outrageous acts occur, those responsible must be found and prosecuted to the fullest extent that the law allows."
FBI Special Agent in Chard 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 of three
Pembroke, Georgia, residents. 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."
The charges against Murray, Nelson and McDonald resulted from a joint investigation by the FBI, U.S. Marshals, NCIS, GBI, Georgia State Patrol, Bryan County Sheriff's Office, Tattnall County Sheriff's Office, Bulloch County Sheriff's Office, Liberty County Sheriff's Office, Richmond Hill Police Department, Pooler, Pembroke and Hinesville Police departments.
The Savannah CrimeStoppers Tip Line is (912) 234-2020.
The maximum penalty for kidnapping charged against all three defendants is life in prison.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brian T. Rafferty and Carlton R. Bourne Jr. are prosecuting the case.