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Alleged gangster admits lying in North Carolina kidnap probe

By Daniel Wallis

(Reuters) - A woman described by prosecutors as a gang member dubbed "Lady Jamaica" has pleaded guilty to lying to FBI agents during their investigation into the kidnapping of a North Carolina prosecutor's father this year, court documents show.

Chason Renee Chase, 24, pleaded guilty on Thursday in U.S. District Court in Columbia, South Carolina, to a charge of making a false statement, the documents showed.

Frank Janssen, father of Wake County Assistant District Attorney Colleen Janssen, was attacked with a pistol and stun gun before being abducted from his home in April and held in an Atlanta apartment for four days before being rescued.

Nine people, including a male gang member who was prosecuted by Janssen, have been indicted in the kidnapping case in North Carolina.

According to the court documents in Chase's case, she told two FBI agents who interviewed her just days after the kidnapping that she did not know the male gang member - identified in court papers as Kelvin or Kevin Melton - when they showed her a photo of him, and that she did not recognize his phone number.

Prosecutors say Melton is a senior member of the Bloods street gang who was prosecuted in 2012 by Janssen's daughter and is serving a life sentence in North Carolina for assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill and inflict serious injury.

According to an indictment issued by a federal grand jury in Wilmington, Melton first plotted to kidnap someone in Louisiana linked to the defense attorney who represented him in that case.

He arranged from prison for each person recruited as part of the kidnapping team to receive about $10,000, according to the indictment, but the plan was scrapped and Melton instead instructed his co-conspirators to abduct the prosecutor.

The kidnappers mistakenly ended up at her father's home.

Chase, who prosecutors say admitted being a member of the Bloods gang, faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison, a fine of $250,000 and a term of supervised release of up to three years following the term of imprisonment.   

(Reporting by Daniel Wallis; Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Sandra Maler)

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