A Toledo man charged with trying to extort $350,000 from his parents in a fake kidnapping made an initial appearance yesterday before Magistrate Vernelis K. Armstrong in U.S. District Court in Toledo.
Anthony E. Baldwin, 32, of 2927 Tremainsville Rd., is being held without bond in the Lucas County jail after being brought to Toledo from Michigan, where he appeared in U.S. District Court in Detroit last week. Mr. Baldwin will have a preliminary examination and detention hearing Friday in federal court in Toledo.
Mr. Baldwin's parents, James and Aurora Baldwin, who own Carmel's Mexican Restaurant, 2947 Tremainsville, contacted Toledo police April 15 to report that their son had been kidnapped. James Baldwin told police that he was called at his house and was directed to go to his son's house. He found a note stating his son had been kidnapped and demanding a $350,000 ransom.
On April 17, authorities located Anthony Baldwin and a former restaurant employee, Bianney W. Rosales, 23, of 5072 Tappan St., in Anthony Baldwin's car at a Michigan truck stop. Anthony Baldwin was unharmed.
Local and federal authorities said they investigated the kidnapping as though it was legitimate. They found unspecified inconsistencies that led them to believe the abduction was a hoax.
After the arrest, Anthony Baldwin told authorities that he killed his dog, wrote the ransom note, and faked his kidnapping to get money from his parents. He said he recruited Mr. Rosales to help him and that he told Mr. Rosales that he would give him half of the ransom money, according to an affidavit filed in federal court.
Attorneys Richard Kerger and William Connelly, Jr., were hired by the Baldwin family to represent Anthony Baldwin. “Relations between the family and [Anthony Baldwin] are excellent,” Mr. Kerger said.
Anthony Baldwin answered Magistrate Armstrong's questions but made no statement during his initial appearance.
A federal extortion charge was dismissed against Mr. Rosales last week because of lack of evidence. However, he was charged with assault of a federal agent.
He was released on a $10,000 unsecured bond after a hearing in federal court in Detroit.