Abraham Augustin, 26, of Cleveland, and Lorrance Dais, 23, of Clemmons, N.C., were arrested after a concerted effort by the ATF, FBI, Bradley County Sheriff’s Office and the Chattanooga Police Department to locate the victim. The man had reportedly been bound to a tree in a wooded area near Interstate 75 where he was found unharmed, according to Bob Gault, media relations coordinator for the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office.
The kidnapping occurred Dec. 3, 2009.
Former Sheriff Tim Gobble said then that he and investigators began gathering information surrounding the possible kidnapping
The incident began when a vehicle matching the description of the suspect vehicle was spotted near I-75 and Paul Huff Parkway near where an alleged ransom drop was to be made.
The driver of the vehicle was taken into custody during a felony traffic stop conducted near Petco as he left the drop area, according to reports.
“We went to a motel off Interstate 75 and Paul Huff Parkway, gained information and began a search,” said Gobble when the alleged kidnapping occurred last year.
Officials found the victim where he was being held in a wooded area near Francisco Road in Bradley County.
A 9 mm handgun was seized during the incident.
During the three-day trial presided over by U.S. District Judge Curtis Collier, several BCSO detectives were called to testify about the investigation that led to the arrests of Augustin and Dais, according to Gault’s information.
“The jury returned verdicts Wednesday finding Augustin guilty of kidnapping, use of a firearm in furtherance of kidnapping, a felon in possession of a firearm, conspiracy to commit murder, three counts of attempted murder and obstruction of justice. Dais was found guilty of kidnapping, use of a firearm in furtherance of kidnapping and a felon in possession of a firearm,” Gault said.
Both remain in custody awaiting sentencing on March 10, 2011, when they could receive prison terms of 30 years to life, according to Gault.
The case was prosecuted by U.S. Attorneys Chris Poole and Perry Piper with assistance provided by retired FBI agent Wayne Jackson, FBI TFO Marty Dunn, and Det. Carl Maskew, BCSO’s liaison to the ATF and other federal agencies for prosecutions under Project Safe Neighborhoods.