PLATTSBURGH, NEW YORK (USDOJ.Today) Graigory Brown, age 50, of Plattsburgh, was charged yesterday with conspiring to kidnap an elderly couple from Moira, New York, and transport them across the border to Canada. The husband and wife were kidnapped on September 27, and safely rescued two days later in Canada.
The announcement was made by Acting United States Attorney Antoinette T. Bacon; Thomas F. Relford, Special Agent in Charge of the Albany Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); and New York State Police Superintendent Keith M. Corlett.
Brown appeared today before United States Magistrate Judge Gary L. Favro, and was ordered detained pending a detention hearing on October 6, 2020.
According to the complaint, on September 27, 2020, Brown and his co-conspirators forcibly entered the victims’ Franklin County home and kidnapped them. The victims were driven to Snye, Quebec, where they were put in a boat, taken to mainland Canada, and then transported to Quebec’s eastern townships where they were held for several days. While the victims were in Canada, Brown’s co-conspirators communicated ransom demands to one of the victims’ children. Officers from the Surete du Quebec rescued the victims from a house in Magog, Quebec, on September 29, 2020. Four of Brown’s alleged co-conspirators have been charged in Canada with crimes related to the kidnapping.
The charges in the complaint are merely accusations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Acting United States Attorney Antoinette T. Bacon stated: “According to the complaint, Brown and his co-conspirators put an elderly couple through a terrifying ordeal. I would like to thank our law enforcement partners, including the FBI, New York State Police, Surete du Quebec, and Akwesasne Mohawk Police, for bringing them home safely. We will continue to work together on both sides of the border to secure justice in this case and hold accountable all those involved in this horrific crime.”
FBI Special Agent in Charge Thomas F. Relford stated: “Mr. Brown’s alleged actions put an innocent couple in harm’s way during a truly terrifying situation. Through swift coordination with our law enforcement partners at NYS Police, Suerte du Quebec, and the Akwesasne Mohawk Police, we were able to bring the victims home safely and ensure justice will be served for those responsible for this despicable act.”
State Police Superintendent Keith M. Corlett stated: “I commend the work of our own members and our law enforcement partners for moving quickly to rescue the victims and track down those responsible for this disturbing crime. We will continue our close collaboration on this case, and we will not rest until all of those involved have been brought to justice.”
The charge filed against Brown carries a maximum sentence of life in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, and a 5-year term of supervised release. A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the particular statute the defendant is charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other factors.
This case is being investigated by the FBI, New York State Police, Suerte du Quebec, Akwesasne Mohawk Police, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Homeland Security Investigations, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Office of Franklin County District Attorney Craig Carriero. and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Douglas G. Collyer and Katherine Kopita.