By CBS Baltimore Staff

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Four Baltimore-area men face an indictment charging them with posing as police officers, kidnapping three people and terrorizing their victims with weapons including a blow torch during a string of attempted robberies.

A federal grand jury returned a 12-count indictment Thursday, which stems from three kidnappings the men allegedly plotted and carried out during a four-month span last year with the goal of robbing either the victims or their employers.

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The men named in the complaint include Dennis Allen Hairston, 32, of Windsor Mill; Donte Davon Stanley, 31, of Rosedale; Davonne Tramont Dorsey, 28, of Gwynn Oak; and Franklin Jay Smith, 32, of Catonsville. They face charges including conspiracy, kidnapping, robbery, attempted robbery and carjacking, among others offenses.

From May 2021 through August 2021, the men are accused of orchestrating the kidnappings of three people, two of whom worked for check cashing businesses.

In each case, the group allegedly impersonated police using emergency lights, police vests and badges before kidnapping the victim, blindfolding them and using force or the threat of force to coerce them into giving up valuables or information.

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On May 5, the men trailed an employee of a check cashing business, stopped over and removed her from her car at gunpoint, according to the indictment. She was handcuffed, blindfolded and placed in the back of a vehicle, where her attackers burned her with a blow torch in an effort to rob her workplace.

Ten days later, the group allegedly pulled over a man in Edgewood, kidnapped him at gunpoint, duct-taped his eyes and mouth shut, and burned him with a blow torch to get money and other belongings from him.

Additionally, the group is accused of kidnapping a second woman at gunpoint in early August as she left the check cashing business where she worked. She was blindfolded and threatened with a gun by her kidnappers, who wanted to get into her workplace so they could rob the place.

Dorsey, Stanley and Smith, who are in custody on related state charges, are set to make their initial appearances in federal court on May 2. A first appearance has not yet been set for Hairston, who is in federal custody in Pennsylvania on unrelated charges.

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Each defendant faces up to life in prison for the kidnapping charges if convicted, up to 25 years for the carjacking charges, a maximum of 20 years for the robbery charges, and a mandatory minimum of seven years on the firearms charges.

CBS Baltimore Staff