An Ohio woman and four of her friends plotted to impersonate cops and kidnap her former boyfriend. A federal grand jury indicted all five for a plan to kidnap the ex-boyfriend and his current girlfriend on Thursday. Incredibly, it’s alleged she made two attempts in ten days. She also thoughtfully recorded videos detailing her illegal plot. Let’s check out what went down in these next six slides.
The U.S. Attorney said Denia I. Avila, 37, of Columbus is the mastermind behind this bizarre plan.
The four charged with assisting her:
- Jessica E. Wise, 38, of Columbus
- Ellis L. Ray, II, 19, of Canal Winchester
- Michael K. Ousley, 43, of Columbus
- Jerry E. McCallister, Jr, 27, of Columbus.
The First Attempt
The first attempted kidnapping happened on November 25 of last year. Both incidents happened near the victims’ home in Hilliard.
When the female victim screamed, the man was able to get away from his attackers. They fled on foot.
The Second Attempt
They tried again on December 4th of last year. The second attack happened just before 5:30 am. A female victim tried to leave the house in her boyfriend’s truck. Attackers blocked her way with their car.
Two men approached the truck and yelled, “Police, open the door.” The victim said both men wore black jackets with police patches. They held up a photo of the male victim. The men attempted to open the door of the truck. The woman drove up over a curb to get away from them and began to honk her horn.
Detectives discovered two very helpful videos during the course of their investigation. Both featured Denia Avila and Jessica Wise laying out their kidnapping plans in great detail. The Taser and leg shackles were featured in the videos. According to reports, the women discussed:
- Disposing of the victims’ vehicles
- Locking the ex-boyfriend in a hotel room
- Beating up the female victim and leaving her in a remote location
- How to avoid police
Avila said the victims would be too afraid to go to law enforcement. She smuggled the ex back into the U.S. after he was deported and knew his immigration status was a problem.
Detectives also discovered that her co-conspirators bought immigration patches. Avila took a screenshot on her phone of a page explaining “How ICE makes arrests.” She’d even searched for “ICE Federal Agent Halloween Costume” on her phone.
Vance Callendar, a special agent in charge from Homeland Security said, “In what some might think is a plotline for a movie, these individuals allegedly devised an elaborate scheme involving the impersonation of federal law enforcement agents to kidnap someone.”
Keith Barwick, from ICE added, “The suspects left a wide trail of evidence that agents and detectives were able to collect, follow, and use to arrest multiple coconspirators.”
Ohio kidnapper impersonated cop
The defendants were charged with:
- Attempted kidnapping
- Conspiracy to commit kidnapping
- Conspiracy to impersonate a federal officer.
The most serious of the charges, conspiracy to commit kidnapping, is punishable by up to life in prison. Attempted kidnapping can draw a maximum sentence of 20 years. Conspiracy to impersonate a federal officer has up to a five-year sentence.
Hilliard Police Chief Robert Fisher said. “The outcome of this case could have been very tragic without the exhaustive initial investigation by our detectives, and the ongoing and thorough collaboration with federal agencies.”