The DNAinfo archives brought to you by WNYC.
Read the press release here.

Man Gets 25 Years to Life in Prison for Queens Businessman's Kidnapping: DA

By Kathleen Culliton | October 24, 2016 6:24pm

QUEENS — The New Jersey man who kidnapped a Woodside businessman and held him on a $3 million ransom in a Long Island City warehouse was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison on Monday, the Queens District Attorney announced.

Eduardo Moncayo, 42, grabbed Pedro Portugal, 52, on the corner of Roosevelt and Britton avenues in April 2013 by calling out Portugal’s name, flashing what seemed to be a police badge and throwing him into the back of an SUV, according to the DA.

Moncayo quickly punched Portugal and threw a mask over his face as an accomplice drove them to the abandoned warehouse on 43rd Avenue that would be Portugal’s prison for the next 32 days, the DA said.

Moncayo and accomplices Dennis Alves, 35, and Christian Acuna, 38, carried Portugal to the warehouse’s third floor where they threw Portugal into a chair, bound him with duct tape, then savagely beat him, the DA said.

Portugal was then ordered to call his mother in Ecuador and beg his freedom in exchange for a $3 million ransom, according to the DA.

The three men tortured Portugal repeatedly in the following month by burning his hand with acid, promising to cut off his fingers, knocking out one of his teeth and threatening to end his life, the DA said.

They also brought Portugal a cake for his birthday, the New York Times reported in 2013.

Portugal only escaped when an NYPD detective from the Major Case Squad found him more than a month later on May 20, the DA said.

Investigators quickly tracked down the kidnappers and arrested Moncayo the following afternoon, court documents show.  

Moncayo was found guilty of one count of kidnapping earlier this month in Queens Supreme Court and received a 25 years-to-life sentence on Monday.

Acuna and Alves have yet to be tried and each face two charges of kidnapping and one of unlawful imprisonment, according to court records.

“This was a terrifying ordeal for the victim,” said Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.  “The victim’s fingers were burned with acid, he was struck so hard in the mouth several teeth were knocked out and even after being rescued, the victim was deeply traumatized.”

“The sentence imposed today was more than warranted.”

Moncayo’s attorney was not immediately available to comment.