PALM BEACH GARDENS, FL (WFLX) – The FBI has arrested two men in Palm Beach County for allegedly plotting a kidnapping in order to demand a $20 million ransom.
Michael James Melillo, who lives in Palm Beach Gardens, is now sitting behind bards in a case that sounds like something out of a Hollywood movie.
Undercover FBI agents have been tracking Melillo and another man from Jupiter, 38-year-old Pavlos Kaimacliotis for months, unbeknownst to the men.
Court documents show the suspects were unknowingly working with federal agents, alledgedly, hatching a plan to kidnap an unidentified wealthy Palm Beach Gardens man because he lost $100,000 at poker.
If the kidnapped man’s wife did not pay the ransom, the kidnappers planned to cut off the victim’s fingers or hand and send the body parts to her, according to a federal criminal complaint made public Thursday.
FBI agents, posing as hitmen, even went as far as faking a ransom drop-off at Palm Beach International Airport Tuesday night documents show.
Later that night, both Micheal James Melillo and Pavlos Kaimacliotis were arrested at a West Palm Beach Home Depot.
Both men are now charged with extortion and kidnapping and are being held without bail at the Palm Beach County Jail in a very bizarre undercover investigation that just went public.
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