Elderly couple kidnapped, smuggled into Canada and held hostage by ‘cocaine ring’

Five men allegedly hoping to recover a large quantity of cocaine, have been accused of kidnapping the grandparents of an associate and transporting them to Canada to hold hostage.

Five men from Quebec, George Distas, 79, Kosmas Dritsas, 49, Taylor Martin, 36, Franco D’Onofrio, 55, and Gary Arnold, 45, were arrested last Tuesday in connection with the kidnapping, alongside Graigory Brown, 50, from Plattsburgh, New York.

All of them are facing charges of kidnapping, forcible confinement and extortion for allegedly abducting James Helm Sr, 76, and his wife Sandra Helm, 70, from Moira, New York, and holding them hostage in Canada.

The couple were abducted from their home on Sunday 27 September and were then taken to Canada, where they were held for two days, according to US authorities.

The abduction was discovered on Monday 28 September, when Mr Helm did not turn up to work as the town’s highway superintendent, a job he has had for 12 years.

After one of the couple’s sons went to their house and found the door forcibly opened, he called the local police and they checked surveillance footage from a camera near the home.

The footage showed Mr Brown arriving at their house in a pickup truck late on Sunday.

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