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Michael Mendez: Alleged Latin Kings gang member accused of locking woman in N.J. bedroom for years due in court

Police say they discovered the 44-year-old woman in a bedroom that was padlocked from the outside while searching Mendez's Paterson apartment for drugs.

Alleged New Jersey Latin Kings gang member Michael Mendez, 42, is due in court today to face drug offenses and allegations that he locked his girlfriend in a bedroom for at least two years.

State police said in a release that their Street Gang Unit discovered the 44-year-old woman, believed to be Mendez's girlfriend, during a search for drugs at his Paterson, N.J. apartment on Thursday. Based on preliminary information, they believe she had been imprisoned in a bedroom that was padlocked from the outside for extended periods of time over the past two years and "possibly longer" – reportedly up to a decade.

Police also allegedly seized from the residence about 4,200 prescription pills worth over $100,000, 190 grams of marijuana valued at $1,900 and $22,567 in cash as they detained Mendez outside.

The woman was taken to St. Joseph's Medical Center for a medical evaluation. Mendez was arrested and charged with kidnapping, false imprisonment, criminal restraint, and multiple drug offenses. He is being held at the Passaic County Jail on $1 million bail.

Mendez was twice convicted of aggravated assault in the past and was sentenced to three months in jail for one of the charges, according to court records.

 
 
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