Monday, April 17, 2023

Gary Arnold sentenced for kidnapping elderly US couple = 16 years

Gary Arnold was sentenced to 13 years in prison for helping kidnap a couple in their 70s from upstate New York and holding them for ransom in a botched cocaine deal. He faced seven charges including two counts each of kidnapping, illegal confinement and extortion. Arnold ferried the couple to Quebec via Akwesasne, a Mohawk reserve that straddles the Canada-U.S. border. Arnold’s cellphone was traced to the crime scene. Franco D’Onofrio, 57 pleaded guilty to forcible confinement, extortion and conspiracy. He bought 15 years. Kosmas Dritsas, 51, was sentenced to 13 years.

Michael Helm
The parole board said that the cocaine seized during the arrest belonged to the Hells Angels. A Montreal chapter member escaped charges.

Sandra and James Helm were abducted and taken to a house in Magog. They were rescued by a Sûreté du Québec SWAT team two days later. The motive for the kidnapping was a failed drug transaction involving 50 kilograms of cocaine and the couple’s eldest grandson, Mackenzie Helm, 30. The kidnappers refused to believe Helm had been arrested and was busted in jail.