Fresno Man accused of staging abduction to extort money from father

By MistiDawn Reed, KMPH

FRESNO, Calif. -- (KMPH) -- Someone needs to get this dad an extra-special gift for Father's Day this year, after what Fresno County Sheriff's officials said happened to him Monday.

Detectives said they got a call early Monday morning from a man who said someone was sending him text messages, saying they kidnapped his 35-year-old sold, Hollis Priest. Sheriff's officials said the person was demanding thousands of dollars in ransom money in return for his safe release. Priest's father said these text messages were coming to him from Priest's phone.

Detectives said they made arrangements to pay the ransom later in the day. They set up a van at a parking lot in the area of Clinton and Brawley Avenues. Detectives said the driver, identified as 30-year-old Dustin Petersen, arrived with Priest just before 6:00 p.m. Monday. Deputies said they approached Priest, and he became "combative" with them. They arrested him and Petersen a short time later.

Detectives said they interviewed several people after the arrests were made. They don't believe Priest was ever kidnapped or held against his will. In fact, Priest and Petersen are both known methamphetamine users, according to law enforcement. They both have a lengthy history with the court system, including convictions for theft and drug possession.

The Sheriff's Office encourages anyone with information on this case to call (559) 600-3111 or Crime Stoppers at (559) 498-STOP (7867).

FULL STORY: Fresno Man accused of staging abduction to extort money from father - KMPH