One of three Pembroke men responsible for two kidnappings in Bryan County in 2011 and 2012 has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for his role in the incidents.
Gary Lenion McDonald, 36, received his sentence Friday from Senior U.S. District Court Judge B. Avant Edenfield in Statesboro, according to a press release from the Department of Justice.
“The kidnappings committed by this defendant and others caused extreme pain and harm to victims they targeted,” said U.S. Attorney Edward J. Tarver.
“Because of timely action by the FBI and its partners in the law enforcement community, the United States Attorney’s Office was able to prosecute those responsible. The United States Attorney’s Office will continue to have as its highest priority the protection of U.S. citizens.”
McDonald previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit kidnappings, and cooperated in the investigation and prosecution of codefendants Antonio Lamont Murray and Cecil DeWitt Nelson.
Murray and Nelson were convicted for their roles in the two kidnappings and sentenced to life in prison earlier this year. Edenfield took McDonald’s cooperation into account when fashioning his sentence, according to the press release.
The evidence presented during McDonald’s guilty plea hearing and the trial of codefendant Antonio Lamont Murray, revealed that McDonald, Murray and Nelson conspired to commit two separate kidnappings in the Bryan County area in late 2011 and early 2012.
The first kidnapping occurred Dec. 1, 2011, when the victim was abducted at gunpoint, beaten and later released only after a ransom was paid. The second kidnapping occurred Jan. 12, 2012, when that victim was also abducted at gunpoint and released only after a ransom was paid.
In addition to being sentenced to 20 years imprisonment for his conviction, McDonald was also sentenced to serve a term of five years of supervised release and to pay restitution to the victims of these kidnappings in the amount of about $500,000. Tarver noted that there is no parole in the federal system.
The convictions of McDonald, Murray and Nelson resulted from a joint investigation by the FBI, the U.S. Marshals, NCIS, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Georgia State Patrol, the Bryan County Sheriff’s Department, the Tattnall County Sheriff’s Office, the Bulloch County Sheriff’s Office, the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office, the Richmond Hill Police Department, the Pooler Police Department, the Pembroke Police Department and the Hinesville Police Department.