PORTLAND, Maine — A Surry man arrested in May in North Carolina after a high-speed police chase admitted Wednesday in U.S. District Court that he kidnapped a Gorham man at gunpoint and drove the victim to Delaware in the trunk of his own car.
Travis R. Landry, 30, pleaded guilty to one count each of kidnapping and using and carrying a firearm in relation to a crime of violence. A sentencing date has not been set.
Landry pleaded not guilty to the charges in June and agreed to be held without bail pending the outcome of his case.
The incident that led to federal charges being filed against Landry began April 24 when the victim met him at a Portland motel, according to the prosecution version of events. The 19-year-old victim 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, according to court documents. Landry then forced the victim into the trunk of the car by showing a gun in his waistband, the complaint said.
The victim got into the trunk and Landry took the man’s cellphone, according to court documents. 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 cut off the plastic handle of the emergency trunk release cable.
After driving for about eight hours, Landry stopped the car, opened the trunk and let the victim go. 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 schoolteacher he had been communicating with online, according to a previously published report. 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 May 6, according to the complaint. Landry was stopped the next day 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 he originally stole from the kidnapping victim and one or more police cruisers.
Landry faces a maximum sentence of life in prison on the kidnapping charge and a mandatory minimum of seven additional years on the gun charge. He also could be fined up to $250,000 on each count.