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Press Release

Laurel County Man Sentenced to 162 Months for Armed Kidnapping

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Kentucky

LONDON, Ky. — Robert “Bobby” Hurley, III, 25, of London, was sentenced today, to 162 months in federal prison, by United States District Judge Claria Horn Boom, for kidnapping and the use of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence.

Hurley pled guilty to these charges in April of 2018.  According to the plea agreement, the victim in the case was accused of stealing money from a local drug dealer that Hurley frequented.  Hurley decided to locate and kidnap the victim, as a means of currying favor with the drug dealer.  Hurley located the victim in the East Bernstadt area of Laurel County, approached the victim, and struck the victim in the back of the head with a shotgun.  Hurley then ordered the victim to get into a waiting vehicle, at gunpoint.  Hurley then directed the driver – an acquaintance of Hurley’s – to drive the three to the drug dealer’s residence, in Pulaski County.

Once there, Hurley and a codefendant, directed the victim to exit the vehicle and go in the back door.  Hurley walked behind the victim with the shotgun. Once inside, Hurley and the codefendant bound the victim’s hands and feet and put duct tape over his mouth.  The two men then placed the victim in a chair and began questioning him over the alleged theft of money.  A third accomplice assisted in the questioning.  While this was occurring, Hurley struck the victim in the head with the shotgun several times.  Hurley and his two codefendants took turns interrogating and assaulting the victim. The victim was ultimately released after falsely confessing to the theft.

“The defendant’s possession of a firearm in furtherance of brutal acts of violence, including kidnapping and assault, warranted the significant sentence imposed by the Court,” said United States Attorney Robert M. Duncan, Jr.  “I commend the efforts of law enforcement in the investigation of this case, leading to a successful prosecution that removed a violent offender from the community.”  

“This violent defendant threatened the safety of our Eastern Kentucky communities,” stated ATF Special Agent in Charge Stuart Lowrey of the Louisville Field Division. “ATF is committed to working with our law enforcement partners by providing investigative resources that lead to arrests and successful prosecutions of dangerous criminal offenders.”         

Under federal law, Hurley must serve 85 percent of his prison sentence; and upon his release, he will be under the supervision of the United States Probation Office for five years.

U.S. Attorney Duncan; Special Agent in Charge Lowrey; and Richard Sanders, Commissioner of the Kentucky State Police, jointly made the announcement.

The investigation was conducted by the ATF and Kentucky State Police.  The United States was represented by Assistant United States Attorney W. Samuel Dotson.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. The PSN program was reinvigorated as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.

Updated May 17, 2019

Project Safe Neighborhoods