Suspects whose arrest allegedly triggered kidnapping appear in court

Published: Oct. 5, 2020 at 5:54 PM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - The two people arrested in a South Burlington sting that led to the international kidnapping of two North Country seniors were in court on Monday. Our Kelly O’Brien has been following this story and has an update on what happened in court.

Mother and son duo Michelle and Mackenzie Helm face federal charges of conspiracy to distribute narcotics.

They were in federal court on Monday in Burlington, getting pretrial dates and conditions of release set.

There is no bail for their release.

The two were arrested in the Doubletree Hotel Parking lot on Sept. 20 with 500 grams of cocaine on them with an estimated price of over $2 million.

The drugs were seized by the DEA. It’s expected the cocaine was going to end up in Canada.

James and Sandra Helm, Mackenzie Helms' grandparents, were kidnapped a week later after the drugs or money never made it to the next stop.

James and Sandra Helm were held in Magog, Quebec, while their captors called for the drugs and money as ransom from the family.

Quebec Police rescued the two senior citizens last Tuesday.

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