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Chinese National Pleads Guilty to Kidnapping College Classmate

U.S. Attorney’s Office December 02, 2011
  • District of Rhode Island (401) 709-5000

PROVIDENCE, RI—A Chinese national student attending college classes in New England pled guilty Friday in U.S. District Court in Providence to kidnapping a classmate, then transporting him to a Boston suburb in a plot to steal his luxury sport utility vehicle valued at $80,000, announced U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha. Zhengpeng Hu, 25, of Malden, Mass., pled guilty as charged in a federal indictment returned in August 2011, to charges of conspiracy to kidnap and kidnapping. No plea agreement has been filed in this case.

A federal arrest warrant has been issued for a second defendant, Shengfeng Cui, 27, of East Providence, R.I. It is believed that Cui fled the country shortly after the kidnapping took place in April 2011.

Appearing before Chief U.S. District Court Judge Mary M. Lisi, Hu admitted that in the early morning hours of April 2, 2011, he and Cui attacked a man and woman in a Providence apartment. The woman was bound, placed into a suitcase, and warned not to call police. She later freed herself and sought the assistance of a neighbor. The male victim was assaulted, bound, blindfolded, and forced into a large storage bag and carried to a garage, where he was placed in his 2011 Porsche and driven from the area. Later, he was placed into a second car, driven to an apartment in Malden, Mass., and confined, where he was restrained with duct tape and plastic ties.

About two hours after being left alone in the apartment by his abductors, the victim was able to free himself and sought help from an apartment manager. Malden police later found Zhengpeng Hu on the roof of the building and arrested him. The victim’s Porsche was later recovered in Cranston. The second vehicle used in the abduction was recovered in East Providence.

Zhengpeng Hu, who has been detained since his arrest, faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment when he sentenced by Chief U.S. District Court Judge Mary M. Lisi on April 2, 2012.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Gerard B. Sullivan.

The matter was investigated by the FBI and the Providence and Malden police.

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