Monica Vaughan
Special to The Union

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May 9, 2014
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Third suspect in alleged kidnapping in Camptonville turns self in

The third suspect believed to be involved in a kidnapping and assault that began in Camptonville turned himself in to authorities Wednesday.

Justin P. Lombardo, 22, of Camptonville, is charged with felony kidnapping while armed with a handgun and first degree burglary.

He is scheduled to be arraigned in Yuba County Superior Court May 21.

Derek Steven Birge, 22, of North San Juan, and Gerry Eugene Drake, 51, were arrested in March and pleaded not guilty to two counts of felony kidnapping, two counts of assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury, and first degree burglary.

They are also scheduled to appear in court May 21.

All three suspects are being held on $1 million bail each in Yuba County Jail.

The suspects allegedly lured Arnold Brinker out of his home at the 16000 block of Rio Verde Way in Camptonville around 3 a.m. Feb. 24, according to Yuba County Undersheriff Jerry Read.

Once Brinker left his residence, he allegedly was assaulted by Birge and Drake, causing him to lose consciousness.

The three bound Brinker’s hands and drove him into Nevada County, where the assault continued, Reed said.

At some point, they reportedly threatened to kill him if he did not pay money that was owed to Drake.

Eventually, Brinker was released.

Initially, detectives only had a nickname of “Hawkeye” for the first suspect, said Nevada County Sheriff’s Lt. Steve Tripp.

The man was eventually identified during the investigation as Christopher Lee Williamson, 51, a resident of the 14000 block of Boquest Drive on the San Juan Ridge.

But Yuba County deputies eventually discovered that Williamson was an assumed identity, Tripp said.

The man living as Williamson is actually Gerry Eugene Drake, a fugitive wanted in Missouri since at least 1999, Tripp said.

According to Tripp, Drake had been convicted on a drug charge and was given a five-year suspended prison sentence with probation; he subsequently violated probation and dropped out of sight.

Monica Vaughan is a reporter with the Marysville Appeal-Democrat.

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The Union Updated May 19, 2014 03:20AM Published May 9, 2014 01:02AM Copyright 2014 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.