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New Jersey Man Gets Five Years For Holding Girlfriend Captive

(credit: N.J. State Police)

(credit: N.J. State Police)

PATERSON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) - A New Jersey man who kept his girlfriend locked in their bedroom for extended periods over two years has been sentenced to 5 years in prison.

A judge on Friday ordered Michael Mendez to serve at least 18 months before he’ll be eligible for parole.

The 42-year-old reputed member of the Latin Kings street gang pleaded guilty last month to criminal restraint and possession of marijuana and prescription pills with intent to distribute near a school.

State police searched his Paterson home in August and discovered that Mendez had been keeping his girlfriend locked in their bedroom, a practice the woman told reporters she was comfortable with.

Detectives seized approximately 150 prescription anti-anxiety and pain pills, nearly 7 ounces of marijuana, and more than $22,000 in cash.

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