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Thursday, 19 April 2012

Prince George gangster turns himself in on kidnapping charge

01:08 |

A Prince George gangster who was first ordered deported to South Africa more than four years ago has turned himself in to police on charges of kidnapping and assault. Prince George RCMP say Francois (Frankie) Meerholz, 24, who police say is linked to the Game Tight Soldiers and Renegades biker gangs, as well as his brother Dillan Meerholz, 22, turned themselves in to police late Tuesday. Responding to a report of a kidnapping, Mounties went to a rural area east of Prince George on Sunday and found a man suffering from serious but non-life-threatening injuries. It is believed the victim was held for several days in a house in the rural area. A 32-year-old suspect was arrested at the house, and a small marijuana-growing operation was found inside. A second suspect, a 35-year-old man, was arrested Monday. On Tuesday, police announced the Meerholz brothers were suspects and both were at large. Police are recommending several charges to Crown counsel, including kidnapping, forcible confinement, and assault causing bodily harm. "Investigators believe these serious offences are drug related and targeted," Cpl. Craig Douglass said in a statement. [Note] "All four suspects are known to police; however investigators do not believe the public are at risk." A native of South Africa who moved to Prince George with his brother in 1999 to live with relatives, Frankie Meerholz was first ordered deported in November 2007 after convictions for theft and possession of stolen property. Last September, he was charged in Prince George with driving a vehicle when his licence was suspended. In March 2011, Frankie Meerholz was picked up by Prince George RCMP after allegedly getting caught breaking into a car with a screwdriver. Following the March 2011 incident, he was handed over to the Canada Border Services Agency for breaching the conditions of his release imposed by an immigration board adjudicator a few months earlier, in January 2011. At that time, Frankie Meerholz was out on bail on two sets of criminal charges from 2009 and 2010, including seven firearms counts

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