CBS2-Header-Logo WFAN 1010WINS WCBS tiny WLNYLogo

News

N.J. State Troopers Find Shocking Discovery In Bedroom Of Alleged Latin Kings Drug Dealer

Cops Find Woman Padlocked Inside, Possible She Was Held Captive For Decade
(credit: N.J. State Police)

(credit: N.J. State Police)

TRI-STATE NEWS HEADLINES

From our newsroom to your inbox weekday mornings at 9AM.
Sign Up

PATERSON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Police say she was locked up in a bedroom for years.

On Monday, a New Jersey man was accused of holding his girlfriend captive — a prisoner — at home.

The location was the Riverside Houses in Paterson, where police recently executed a search warrant against an alleged Latin Kings drug dealer, 42-year-old Michael Mendez.

In an unusual twist, when police went into the apartment, they allegedly found something stunning.

WCBS 880’s Jim Smith reports

“Detectives also found a woman, padlocked, inside of a bedroom of the residence,” State Police Sgt. Brian Polite told WCBS 880’s Jim Smith.

Police said it’s possible the woman was kept a captive for as much as a decade.

Some neighbors that spoke to CBS 2’s John Slattery said this was the first they were hearing of a girlfriend.

“No, I never see his girlfriend. No. Just saw him all the time,” neighbor Juancina Benjamin said.

“I used to see him in the neighborhood. I don’t know about no girlfriend,” another neighbor said.

When the New Jersey State Police Gang Unit executed a search warrant, it allegedly recovered more than $100,000 in prescription drugs, along with a quantity of marijuana and $22,000 in cash. Drugs may be one thing, but some nearby residents who know Mendez, said it’s farfetched that the woman was being held against her will.

“He was a good person, very good person. I don’t think it’s true. No, I don’t,” one neighbor said.

“I always see him and his girlfriend. I see them two days before the incident happened, always with him,” Stephanie Ramos added.

Police based the charges on testimony from the woman and evidence at the scene, possibly from a journal she kept.

The woman was taken for medical evaluation. Mendez is being held on $1 million bond.

Police did not identify the victim, but did say she is 44 years old.

Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below …