FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 24, 2012
TRENTON, N.J. – Jayen I. Patel, 41, of Southampton, Pa., admitted today to engaging someone he thought was a white supremacist to kidnap a New Jersey woman and her child, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Patel pleaded guilty to an Indictment charging him with one count of soliciting an individual to aid in a kidnapping. The defendant entered his guilty plea before U.S. District Judge Freda L. Wolfson in Trenton federal court.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
In September 2010, Patel reached out to an FBI agent acting in an undercover capacity (“the UC”) through an Internet-based social networking site. As the relationship between the UC and Patel developed, Patel identified a woman and her daughter whom he wished to have kidnapped, claiming that the child’s father wanted custody of the child. Patel’s plan involved forcing the woman to do things ‘to make her loose [sic] custody of her child.’
Patel indicated that if the UC – who he thought was a white supremacist – and his associates aided in the abduction, they would be paid from money they obtained from the victim, whom they would all share as a slave following her abduction. During his guilty plea, Patel admitted that he provided instructions to separate the child from her mother, to restrain the mother with handcuffs, and to knock the mother unconscious with a handgun if she resisted. Patel also provided the victims’ names and address, urging the UC to conduct surveillance on the victims to determine their schedules and how many people lived in the residence. He also gave instructions regarding the makeup of the group that should engage in the kidnapping.
The solicitation charge to which Patel pleaded guilty carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $125,000 fine.
Sentencing before Judge Wolfson is currently scheduled for June 1, 2012. The defendant remains under house arrest and electronic monitoring pending sentencing.
U.S. Attorney Fishman praised the outstanding work of special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael B. Ward, as well as the other members of the Newark Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF). He also thanked the Oklahoma City FBI, Franklin Township, N.J., Police Department, South Brunswick Police Department, and the Hopewell Township Police Department for their roles in the investigation. The JTTF is made up of agents and officers of the U.S. Department of State: U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations; U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection; New Jersey State Police; Jersey City Police Department; Bayonne Police Department; Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and other law enforcement agencies.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Dennis C. Carletta of the U.S. Attorney’s Office National Security Unit in Newark.
Defense counsel: Robert J. DeGroot Esq., Newark