Bridgeport man sentenced for kidnapping person in drug debt

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (WTNH) — A man known as “Juice” out of Bridgeport has been sentenced to prison today for kidnapping, stemming from an incident where he was holding a person who was in drug debt at a drug distribution location.

A United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut announced that Paul Whitehurst, 25-years-old, will serve 48 months of imprisonment, followed by five years of supervised release.

According to court documents and statements made in court, in January 2013 the Danbury Police Department began investigating a narcotics trafficking network that maintained a series of drug distribution locations, known as trap houses, in Danbury, out of which members of the organization sold crack and heroin. The organization also rented hotel rooms where they packaged and distributed narcotics. During the investigation, law enforcement learned that the individuals who headed the drug trafficking ring had organized and committed armed home invasion robberies of marijuana dealers.

Whitehurst sold narcotics on behalf of the organization. He also oversaw two trap houses and rented hotel rooms for additional drug distribution.

In approximately May 2013, Whitehurst and a co-defendant approached an individual who was walking in Danbury and directed the victim to get into their vehicle. At the time, the victim owed Whitehurst a drug debt of approximately $100. In the car, Whitehurst physically and verbally assaulted the victim as they drove to a nearby reservoir. At the reservoir, Whitehurst pushed the victim into the water and then threw rocks at him. Whitehurst and others then drove the victim to a liquor store and purchased a liter of vodka, which Whiehurst forced the victim to drink in its entirety in approximately 15 minutes until the victim lost consciousness. The victim, still unconscious, was then driven to a trap house where he was locked in a bathroom overnight. The next day, Whitehurst directed the victim to work off his drug debt by selling heroin to customers. After selling the drugs, the victim was released.

Whitehurst has been detained since August 2013. On October 22, 2014, he pleaded guilty to one count of kidnapping.

This matter has been investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New Haven Task Force and the Danbury Police Department.

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