Kidnappers Who Demanded $680,000 Ransom For Fort Lee Man Get Up To 18 Years Without Release

𝗨𝗣𝗗𝗔𝗧𝗘: Four men who kidnapped a Fort Lee man from his home and held him for a $680,000 ransom must serve from 12 to 18 years in federal prison before they'll be eligible for release.

Fortunately, a neighbor called police to report several suspicious people at the victim’s home. 

Fortunately, a neighbor called police to report several suspicious people at the victim’s home. 

Photo Credit: Jerry DeMarco

The harshest plea-bargained sentence went to Albert Ferrelli, 52, of Queens, who must serve nearly 18 years of a 250-month prison sentence before he'll be eligible for release, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger said.

Next was fellow Queens resident Chiahao Lee, 32, who must serve nearly 13 years of a 180-month stretch, the U.S. attorney said.

They're followed by Gabriel Anthony, also of Queens, Sellinger said, who must serve 12 years (of 180 months) and Fa Deng of Staten Island, who must do 10 years (of 144 months).

All must serve the mandatory 85% of their sentences before they'll be eligible for release because there's no parole in the federal prison system.

Ferrelli and Anthony were wearing masks when they abducted the victim from his Catherine Street home near William Street the night of April 5, 2022, Sellinger said.

The kidnappers sent the victim’s wife a photograph almost immediately afterward showing him with his hands bound and his eyes and mouth duct-taped while demanding $680,000, the U.S. attorney said.

Fortunately, a neighbor called Fort Lee police to report several suspicious people at the victim’s home. 

It gave local authorities the quick jump they needed.

Uniformed Fort Lee officers responding to the neighbor's call found “what appeared to be duct tape with pieces of latex gloves stuck to it,” Sellinger said.

They immediately cordoned off the area and summoned borough detectives. The Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office was notified, a Bergen County Sheriff’s K-9 responded and the sheriff’s Bureau of Criminal Identification collected evidence.

Reviewing area security footage, investigators determined that the kidnappers had taken the victim away in a gray minivan that his wife had rented the day before at LaGuardia Airport.

The minivan was seen crossing the George Washington Bridge soon after. Then it made its way through the Bronx into Queens.

City police went to a building on Prince Street in Queens and found Ferrelli guarding the door.

“Surveillance footage obtained by law enforcement showed that during this captivity, the victim attempted to escape by running out of the building where he was eventually found,” Sellinger said.

Ferrelli is seen tackling the victim on the video, scuffling with him and then pulling him back into the building, the U.S. attorney said.

He was rescued after the NYPD heard him screaming for help.

Sellinger credited the FBI, the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office, Fort Lee police and the NYPD for the swift recovery of the victim and the arrests of his abductors.

The quartet all took deals from the government -- pleading guilty to conspiring to commit interstate kidnapping -- rather than risk the outcome of a trial that could have seen them testify against one another.

All four were sentenced to varying periods of supervised release as part of plea deals secured by Assistant U.S. Attorney Carolyn Silane of his Economic Crimes Unit in Newark, Sellinger noted. 

Deng also was fined $200,000 during the sentencing hearing in federal court in Newark on Wednesday, May 29, he said.

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