Man found guilty in elaborate 2015 kidnapping plot where two children were held for ransom

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John Thomas

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– A jury found a reputed Detroit narcotics dealer guilty on three counts in a scheme to kidnap two east side children last year and hold them for ransom.

In February 2015, police in Indiana, Kentucky and Michigan were on the lookout for two children were were ripped from their mother’s bed at an east side house.

According to court documents, John Thomas was mad at his girlfriend, Whitney Blackwell. She reportedly stole $120,000 in cash, a kilo of cocaine and 4,000 oxycontin pills from his Detroit home. Investigators believe she was trying to set up her own drug operation in Indiana.

Thomas allegedly sent his associates to Indianapolis to kidnap Blackwell’s younger brother and sister to force her into giving back the money. One child was eventually dropped off at home and the other was rescued after a police pursuit in Detroit.

Defense attorneys claimed it was an underling of Thomas who pulled off the kidnapping without Thomas’ endorsement. The U.S. Attorney argued phone records and testimony proved it was Thomas’ plan the whole time.

Jurors found Thomas guilty of conspiracy to kidnap and two counts of kidnapping. Each count carries a possible sentence of 20 years to life.

Thomas’ sentencing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on Dec. 8.

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