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Press Release

Kansas City Men Sentenced for Kidnapping and Torturing Victim in Wyandotte County

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

KANSAS CITY, KAN. – Two Kansas men were sentenced to substantial terms of imprisonment following their convictions on kidnapping, firearm, and drug charges. 

In February 2023, a federal jury found David Carr, 36, of Kansas City, and James Michael Poterbin, 47, of Edwardsville, guilty of kidnapping, conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, and discharging a firearm in connection with a drug trafficking crime. 

On July 6, 2023, a U.S. District Judge sentenced Carr to life in prison and Poterbin to 40 years’ imprisonment.

The convictions and sentences relate to the 2019 kidnapping and torture of a victim in Kansas City, Kansas. According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, after Carr and Poterbin mistakenly believed a woman had stolen drug money from them, they kidnapped her boyfriend and demanded payment for his release.  

After beating, shooting, and stabbing the victim, Carr and Poterbin believed the victim was dead and left him in the house for days before he was discovered by another individual. After the victim was found alive and rescued, Carr ordered a co-conspirator to burn the house to the ground, endangering neighbors and first responders.  

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Kansas City, Kansas Police Department investigated the case. The Kansas City, Kansas Fire Department investigated the arson.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ryan J. Huschka and D. Christopher Oakley prosecuted the case.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Sheri Catania presented the indictment to a grand jury and prepared the case for trial.  

OCDETF Strike Force Cases

This prosecution is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) Strike Force Initiative, which provides for the establishment of permanent multi-agency task force teams that work side-by-side in the same location. This co-located model enables agents from different agencies to collaborate on intelligence-driven, multi-jurisdictional operations to disrupt and dismantle the most significant drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations. The Kansas City Metro Strike Force’s mission also includes targeting violent street gangs and cartel members operating in and around the metropolitan area that are engaged in violent offenses and firearms offenses.


Updated July 14, 2023

Violent Crime