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Six suspects in Carroll County kidnapping face judge, bail denied for five

Group charged for disturbing kidnapping in Carroll County
Group charged for disturbing kidnapping in Carroll County 02:34

WESTMINSTER -- Six suspects tied to a kidnapping in Carroll County faced a judge for the first time Tuesday, a week since the crime took place.

Maryland State Police identified five of the suspects as Dequan Gaines, 27, Brian Johnson, 30, Jordan Riley, 29, Marc Rivera, 21, and Rivera's sister, Sylena Rivera, 19.

The sixth suspect, Jessica Bassler, 39, was identified through court records.

The six are facing a slew of charges, including kidnapping, second-degree assault and extortion.

At their bail review hearing, all but Sylena Rivera was ordered to remain in jail without bail. The judge granted Sylena Rivera release due to medical reason, subjecting her to GPS monitoring.

Charging documents show it all seems to stem from a drug debt.

It all started in front of the Westminster branch of the Carroll County Public Library last Tuesday. The two victims, a man and woman, met up with Sylena Rivera before going to the Penny Mart on the same street.

This is where the three were joined by Marc Rivera, Riley, Johnson and Gaines. Gaines, according to charging documents, said the male victim owed him $150 for drugs.

The victims told police they left the store before being forced into Gaines' car.

Gerry Bunker visits the library every day, driving to Westminster from Owings Mills. He was surprised to hear this happened.

"It's a shame, but in general, I think Westminster's a pretty nice town. I go to the streets every day and meet people, don't even know their name, but after awhile you think you know them," he said.

From downtown, the group of seven drove around to several locations. First a park, where the male victim said he was assaulted by three of the suspects.

The group also stopped at McDaniel College where Gaines threatened the female victim that he'd "do a number on her." Also, when this victim got her mom on the phone, he said the victim would be "sold as a prostitute" if he didn't get the money.

After driving around some more, the car ran out of gas. The group pushed the car to the Roy Rogers location on Baltimore Boulevard.

The male victim was able to escape when a state trooper approached them, according to charging documents, because the rest of the suspects decided to ditch the car.

After the group stayed overnight at a home of one of Gaines' family members, they let the female victim go.

WJZ met someone who knows the victims outside the courthouse. Wishing to stay anonymous, he said it's just an awful situation.

"This is crazy, just never heard of it before," he said. "People throwing their lives away for $150."

Bassler was arrested for sending threatening messages to the female victim days after the kidnapping.

All of the suspects have their preliminary hearing dates set in June: half of them are set for June 20, the other half on Juen 26.

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