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Three indicted for fake police kidnapping and robbery plot

By Keith Coffman

DENVER (Reuters) - Three suspected Denver-area gang members have been charged with robbing a cocaine dealer after tracking his movements with a GPS device, posing as police, and threatening to shoot his daughter, federal prosecutors said on Thursday.

Tracy "Tre Dog" Morgan, Killiu "Caveman" Ford and Augustus "Turk" Sanford were indicted by a federal grand jury on eight counts of kidnapping, conspiracy, violation of federal gun laws and related charges for the 2009 crime spree.

Ford, 37, and Sanford, 34, are in custody, while Morgan, 40, remains at large, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Denver said in a written statement.

According to the indictment, the defendants set up a cocaine buy with a drug dealer named Mario Armendariz in September of 2009. When Armendariz allegedly delivered the cocaine to another man's house, Morgan and Ford affixed a GPS tracking device to his vehicle.

Over the next three weeks, the men tracked Armendariz's movements and ultimately learned where he lived, the indictment charges.

Meanwhile, the juvenile son of a Denver police officer stole his father's uniform and gave it to the men in exchange for marijuana.

The men then ambushed Armendariz and his wife in a Denver suburb as they were placing their two daughters in their car seats, the indictment charges. With guns drawn, the suspects announced that they were police officers, the indictment said.

Prosecutors say the gunmen bound and blindfolded Armendariz, and forced his wife to drive to the couple's home with the children still in the vehicle.

As they ransacked the house, Morgan demanded that Armendariz's wife tell him where her husband stashed his money, the indictment said. When she balked, Morgan allegedly pointed a gun at her daughter's head.

"At that point the adult female victim pointed out where the money was hidden and the men grabbed a box containing approximately $30,000 in cash," federal prosecutors said. If convicted, all three defendants face life sentences.

(Editing by Dan Whitcomb and Cynthia Johnston)

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