Officials: Newark Man One Of Eight Guilty In Kidnapping That Ended In Murder

United States Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams announced in late March that John Perkins, 34, of Philadelphia, PA, was convicted after trial for his involvement in a scheme to kidnap an individual and hold them for ransom, which eventually led to that individual’s injury and death. The victim’s body was later recovered in Cecil County, Maryland.

In May 2019, Perkins was charged by Indictment with conspiracy to commit kidnapping, and kidnapping involving interstate commerce (transporting the kidnapped individual across state lines), stemming from the June 2018 kidnapping and murder of an individual who owned businesses in the city. When the victim showed up to the location of an arranged meeting in Philadelphia, a co-defendant shot the victim, injuring him. Perkins’ co-conspirators restrained the victim with duct tape, handcuffs, and zip ties, and Perkins loaded the victim’s bound and bloody body into the kidnappers’ car. Perkins’ co-conspirators then drove the victim to a location in Chester County. Meanwhile, during the kidnapping, ransom calls demanding hundreds of thousands of dollars were made to the victim’s wife and to an associate of the victim. After meeting up with more co-conspirators, they drove the victim to a location in Cecil County, Maryland, where a co-conspirator ultimately shot the victim in the head, killing him.

Co-defendants who were also charged related to their involvement in the kidnapping conspiracy and who all previously pleaded guilty are: Ivan Rangel Prieto, 37, of Asheboro, North Carolina; Jose Castillo, 47, of Albuquerque, New Mexico; Jose Bernal, 33, of Newark, Delaware; Jose Delgado, 43, of Warminster, Pennsylvania; Salvador Sanchez Guerrero, 50, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Robert Favors, 42, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Fermín Perez Mejia, 38, of Norristown, Pennsylvania.

“This defendant acted with callous disregard for another human being’s life, and now a jury has found him guilty of these horrific crimes,” said U.S. Attorney Williams. “Our office refuses to give in and let this type of lawless violence and intimidation become just the ‘way things are’ in Philadelphia – we are ‘All Hands On Deck’ to investigate and prosecute violent crimes in the city.”

“What a horrific way to spend the final hours of your life: abducted, restrained, bleeding, and completely powerless,” said Jacqueline Maguire, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division. “John Perkins and his associates committed heinous acts of violence, and I’m thankful this jury has held him responsible for his role in this ruthless conspiracy. Getting dangerous criminals off the street is the top priority of the FBI Philadelphia Violent Crimes Task Force.”

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Philadelphia Police Department, with assistance from the Cecil County, Maryland Sherriff’s Office, the Southern Chester County Regional Police Department, and the Plymouth Township Police Department, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Amanda R. Reinitz and Everett Witherell.

Source: USDOJ