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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Jersey

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, September 15, 2021

New York Man Admits Role in Kidnapping

NEWARK, N.J. – A Bronx, New York, man today admitted his role in a Paterson, New Jersey, kidnapping, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.

Maurice Cottman, 41, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Stanley R. Chesler in Newark federal court to an information charging him with one count of kidnapping.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

On Oct. 8, 2020, Cottman and his conspirator, Reginald Law, entered a retail store in Paterson and assaulted the Victim, who was working in the store. Cottman and Law dragged the victim from the store, threw him into the back of a U-Haul truck and drove to New York.  Cottman and Law pistol-whipped the victim in the head and face. Cottman called the victim’s family and demanded $200,000 for his return.

That afternoon, law enforcement officers went to Harlem, New York, where they saw the U-Haul parked on the street. When the officers approached, Cottman and Law fled in the U-Haul and a motor-vehicle pursuit ensued. After some distance, the U-Haul crashed, and a foot pursuit ensued. Cottman was arrested, but Law got away. The officers opened the U-Haul and rescued the victim. Law was arrested on May 26, 2021.

The kidnapping charge to which Cottman pleaded guilty is punishable by a maximum penalty of life in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 2, 2022.

Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr. in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea. She also thanked the FBI New York Field Office and the Paterson Police Department for their assistance.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Shontae D. Gray of the Violent Crimes Unit.

The charges against Law remain pending, and he is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Component(s): 
Press Release Number: 
21-412
Updated September 15, 2021