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New York Man Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison for Role in Kidnapping of Paterson Store Owner

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Paterson NJ,  a Bronx, New York, man was sentenced today to 180 months in prison for his role in a kidnapping in Paterson, New Jersey, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.

Maurice Cottman, 42, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Stanley R. Chesler to an information charging him with one count of kidnapping. Judge Chesler imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court.

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. Later that morning, Cottman called the victim’s family, told them that he had the victim and demanded amounts as high as $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 were pursued. After some distance, the U-Haul crashed, and a foot pursuit ensued.  Ultimately, the officers apprehended Cottman. The officers found the victim in the rear of the U-Haul. Law was arrested on May 26, 2021.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Chesler sentenced Cottman to five years of supervised release.

U.S. Attorney Sellinger 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 sentencing. He 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 OCDETF/Narcotics Unit.

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

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