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Wasilla traffic stop interrupts alleged kidnapping

Jill Burke

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Two men on a rampage in search of money and drugs got more than they bargained for on Sunday when, mid-spree, they had a run in with a police officer as they made their way in a car along the Parks Highway in Wasilla, north of Alaska's largest city.

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A Wasilla police officer stopped the car for having faulty headlights, and in the process discovered a passenger in handcuffs and a driver being forced to operate the vehicle at gunpoint. Alaska State Troopers were called to the scene to assist.

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The victims – a Big Lake area couple – had just been kidnapped by two men from Anchorage, Arthur Gray, 24, and Benjamin Lega, 19, according to troopers. The female victim, whom troopers did not identify, told investigators Gray and Lega barged into her home and held her at gunpoint while they ransacked the place, looking for money and drugs.

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The woman's boyfriend, whom troopers also did not identify, came by as the home invasion was taking place and found himself also being held at gunpoint. He was then taken to his home next door, where the gun-wielding robbers stole ATM cards, cash and a television.

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From the residence of the woman, the invaders took prescription meds, two firearms, cash and marijuana. Troopers did not say why Gray and Lega then decided to kidnap the couple, or where they were headed in the car when the traffic stop was made.

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The duo is now under arrest and they each face kidnapping, robbery, assault, theft, burglary and vehicle theft charges. Gray is being held on a $500,000 cash-only bail, while Lega is being held without bail.  

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Contact Jill Burke at jill(at)alaskadispatchcom