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Two men sentenced in federal kidnapping case

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LONDON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Two men from Whitley and Laurel Counties were sentenced to prison in a federal kidnapping case.

On Tuesday, 40-year old Gene Jones II, of East Bernstadt, was sentenced to nineteen-and-a-half years in prison.

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28-year old Nigel Medlin, of Rockholds, received just over 18-years, according to prosecutors.

Both men had previously pleaded guilty.

According to their plea agreements, on April 2, 2017, Medlin, 33-year old Sean Fredrick, a second defendant, and a third defendant, 34-year old Eric Wayne Collins, kidnapped three victims, for the purpose of assaulting one victim because of a missing truck, according to prosecutors.

Medlin admitted to contacting the victim through Facebook Messenger and arranging a meeting in the Walmart parking lot in London, by pretending to buy methamphetamine. The three admitted to waiting on the victim, who arrived to the parking lot with two others, according to investigators.

Medlin and others approached the three victims and instructed one to get in the backseat of the vehicle, then sitting on either side. They instructed one of the other victims to drive the vehicle down I-75, to Jones’ home in Laurel County, according to prosecutors.

At Jones’ house, Collins and Medlin took the victims to a home behind Jones’ house, where they tied and bound one victim. Collins, Fredrick, Jones, and Medlin all took turns physically assaulting the victim, breaking his jaw and hanging a metal logging chain around his neck; Collins then admitted to using pliers to pull several of his teeth.  They also forced the victim to ingest the meth that he had brought to sell, according to investigators.

The four defendants told the victims that, if they went to the police or told anyone about what had happened, they would kill them, according to court documents.

Fredrick pleaded guilty in March 2019. Collins and Medlin pleaded guilty in July 2019.  Jones pleaded guilty in August 2019. Fredrick is scheduled to be sentenced on April 14, 2020, and Collins is scheduled to be sentenced on May 12, 2020, according to court documents.

Under federal law, the defendants must serve 85 percent of their prison sentences and will be under the supervision of the U.S. Probation Office for five years.