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Press Release

Four KC Residents Charged with Kidnapping Two Victims at Gunpoint

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

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Tom Larson, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that four Kansas City, Mo., residents were charged in federal court today with kidnapping a man and woman at gunpoint.

Jeremy M. Dobson, 30, his brother, Joshua A. Dobson, 25, Courtney J. Devero, 25, and Justin D. Watson, 21, all of Kansas City, were charged in a two-count complaint filed in the U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Mo. Joshua Dobson and Devero had their initial court appearance this afternoon and remain in federal custody. Watson, who is also in federal custody, will have an initial court appearance on Monday. Jeremy Dobson remains a fugitive from justice.

Today’s criminal complaint charges each of the four co-defendants in one count of kidnapping and one count of using a firearm during a violent crime.

According to an affidavit filed in support of the complaint, a man and a woman were tied to a pole in the basement of a Kansas City, Mo., residence and held at gunpoint. They were allegedly beaten by the kidnappers, who took the male victim with them as they drove across Kansas, eventually leaving him tied up in a remote field as they drove to Colorado. The female victim was released at a local hospital.

On Friday, March 10, 2017, the two victims were at a residence in the 3200 block of E. 27th Street with Jeremy and Joshua Dobson and Devero, Joshua Dobson’s girlfriend, who was house sitting at the residence, as well as an uncharged juvenile female identified as “H.J.” Jeremy allegedly became upset with the female victim, his ex-girlfriend, and punched her in the face. When the male victim intervened and pushed Jeremy Dobson away, the affidavit says, Jeremy Dobson produced a handgun and pointed it at the two victims. Jeremy Dobson fired the handgun at the female victim’s head, the affidavit says, but missed her. Jeremy Dobson allegedly forced the two victims to give him their cell phones and personal items. Jeremy and Joshua Dobson, Devero and H.J. allegedly forced the two victims into the basement and tied them to a support pole with zip ties, rope and electrical wire.

According to the affidavit, the two victims were held in the basement for several hours while Jeremy and Joshua Dobson, Devero and H.J. took turns watching them while in possession of the handgun. Duct tape was placed over the female victim’s mouth, the affidavit says, and the two victims were punched, slapped, kicked and threatened with death. At one point, the affidavit says, they were forced into the trunk of a car for several hours, then led back into the house.

When Watson arrived at the residence the next morning, the affidavit says, Jeremy Dobson, Watson and H.J. forced the male victim into the victim’s vehicle and they left the house. Joshua Dobson and Devero remained at the house with the female victim. After several hours, the female victim begged to go to the hospital, the affidavit says, and Joshua Dobson and Devero dropped her off at Truman Medical Center on March 11, 2017. Police officers who were called to the hospital documented the presence of ligature marks around the victim’s wrist and ankles, as well as redness about her face.

After leaving the residence, Watson drove west on I-70 headed to Colorado. Near Topeka, Kan., Watson stopped at a gas station/convenience store. Watson and H.J. allegedly used the male victim’s debit card to withdraw $1,200 from an ATM. They continued driving west on I-70, the affidavit says, making an additional stop at a sporting goods store, where Jeremy Dobson and H.J. purchased a pair of Nike Air Jordan shoes. As they continued driving, Jeremy Dobson discussed whether to kill the victim, who was in the front passenger’s seat. Watson exited off the interstate in the area of Russell, Kan. The male victim was forced out of the car, bound and gagged, and left in a field. After the kidnappers left, he was able to remove his bindings and made his way to the Russell Police Department.

The kidnappers stopped at a motel and paid for a room. Jeremy Dobson asked Watson to go to Walmart. Instead, the affidavit says, Watson drove back to Kansas City, leaving Jeremy Dobson and H.J. at the motel.

On March 14, 2017, Kansas City police officers located the victim’s vehicle on E. 9th Street in Kansas City and conducted a car stop. Justin Watson, the driver, was arrested.

On March 16, 2017, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at the residence where the two victims had been held and arrested Joshua Dobson and Devero.

Larson cautioned that the charges contained in this complaint are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph M. Marquez. It was investigated by the FBI and the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department.

Updated March 17, 2017

Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime