Human trafficking has been in the spotlight recently. Not examples involve children or people being groomed. As in a recent court case, sometimes it is outright kidnapping and holding people against their will. It is a good example at how it happens and how one woman escaped.
Below is a press release from the Oregon US Attorney office.
A federal grand jury in Portland returned an indictment today charging a Klamath Falls, Oregon, man with kidnapping and sexually assaulting a Seattle woman and forcing her into a makeshift cell he constructed in his garage.
Negasi Zuberi, 29, also known as Sakima, Justin Hyche, and Justin Kouassi, has been charged with interstate kidnapping and transporting an individual across state lines with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity.
According to court documents, on July 15, 2023, Zuberi was in Seattle when he is alleged to have posed as a police officer, pointed a taser at an adult woman, placed her in handcuffs, and forced her into the backseat of his vehicle. Zuberi then transported the woman approximately 450 miles back to his home in Klamath Falls, stopping along the way to sexually assault her and cover her face with a sweatshirt.
When Zuberi arrived at his residence, he moved the woman from his vehicle into a makeshift cell he had constructed in his garage. The woman repeatedly banged on the cell door until it broke open and she escaped. She retrieved a handgun from Zuberi’s vehicle, fled his garage, and flagged down a passing motorist who called 911.
The next day, on July 16, 2023, two Nevada State Patrol officers located Zuberi in a retail parking lot in Reno, Nevada. After a short standoff, Zuberi surrendered to law enforcement and was taken into custody.
On July 26, 2023, Zuberi made his first appearance in federal court before a U.S. Magistrate Judge in the District of Nevada. He was ordered detained pending his transfer to the District of Oregon.
Interstate kidnapping is punishable by up to life in federal prison and transporting an individual across state lines with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity is punishable by up to 10 years in federal prison.
This case was investigated by the FBI Portland Field Office, Klamath Falls Police Department, and Oregon State Police with assistance from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Nevada; Klamath County District Attorney’s Office; Reno, Nevada Police Department; Washoe County, Nevada District Attorney’s Office; and Nevada State Police. Assistant U.S. Attorney John C. Brassell is prosecuting the case for the District of Oregon.
An indictment is only an accusation of a crime, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Zuberi has lived in ten different states over the last ten years including California, Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Utah, Florida, New York, New Jersey, Alabama, and Nevada, and federal law enforcement has reason to believe he may have victimized additional women.
If you or someone you know have information about possible crimes committed by Zuberi, please visit fbi.gov/sakimavictims
or call 1-800-Call-FBI.
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