PORTLAND, Maine — A Surry man who was arrested in North Carolina after a high-speed police chase was charged Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Maine with kidnapping a man at gunpoint last month in Cumberland County and driving the victim to Delaware in the trunk of his own car.
Travis R. Landry, 29, is charged with one count each of kidnapping and using and carrying a firearm in relation to a crime of violence.
Landry is being held at the Granville County, N.C., Detention Center in Oxford, N.C., on state charges related to a high-speed chase there on May 7, according to federal court documents. Information about Landry’s arrest and pending charges in North Carolina were not available late Wednesday afternoon.
The alleged incident that led to federal charges being filed against Landry began on April 24 when the Gorham man met Landry at a Portland motel, according to the complaint. The 19-year-old met Landry about 6 p.m. intending to show his car to a prospective buyer.
After Landry took the 2004 gray BMW sedan for a test drive with the seller in the passenger seat, he signed a bill of sale for the car and handed the victim an envelope. The 19-year-old assumed it contained a check.
“Landry then said he wanted to see the trunk, so [the victim] opened it,” the complaint stated. “Landry told [the victim] to get into the trunk, saying he wanted to see how he ‘fit.’ Thinking that Landry was joking, [the victim] said no. Landry then lifted up his shirt exposing a handgun in his waistband, and said he was not joking.”
Fearing for his life, the victim got into the trunk and Landry took the man’s cellphone, according to the court document. A short time later, Landry opened the trunk and demanded the victim give him his wallet and the PIN for his debit card. Landry also allegedly cut off the plastic handle of the emergency trunk release cable.
“After driving with [the victim] in the trunk for about eight hours, Landry stopped the car in an area that [the victim] soon observed was a secluded wooded area near a cemetery,” the complaint said. “Landry opened the trunk and told [the victim] to get out and run.”
The man eventually found an open doughnut shop, learned he was in Newark, Del., and called police.
Landry made his way to Killeen, Texas, where his father lives, and met up with a female schoolteacher he had been communicating with online, according to the court document. She had wired Landry $200 on two separate occasions as he made his way from the East Coast to Texas. He arrived in Killeen on April 26 and stayed with the teacher until April 30, when Landry allegedly stole her vacuum cleaner, iPad, camera and debit card.
He was last seen in Texas on May 6 with his father’s estranged wife, according to the complaint. The woman reported the next day that she had heard from Landry that day but “Travis said he had to hang up because he was being chased by the police.”
Landry was stopped on May 7 by a Granville County sheriff’s deputy for speeding and a window tint violation, the complaint said. After initially stopping, Landry quickly drove away and “the deputy engaged in a high speed chase” that ended with a collision between the BMW and one or more police cruisers.
It could not determined late Wednesday when Landry would be returned to Maine.
If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison on the kidnapping charge alone.