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Probation, Threat From Judge In Bogota Kidnapping Case

Jeff Theophile
Jeff Theophile Photo Credit: Mary K. Miraglia

BOGOTA, N.J. -- A judge in Hackensack told a Jersey City man convicted of participating in a Bogota drug-related kidnapping that he'll send him to jail for a year unless he keeps his nose clean for the next two.

Superior Court Judge James J. Guida spared Jeff Theophile a prison sentence, but attached the condition as part of three years of probation.

"Unless you come back in two years with a record that is absolutely clean, and a letter from your probation officer that you have no violations, you’ll have to do the jail time," Guida told Theophile, 29, on Friday.

Theophile was acquitted at a trial along with two co-defendants of attempted robbery, kidnapping and conspiracy. He was convicted of making terroristic threats, however.

Authorities accused all three of going to the Bogota home of a drug dealer in April 2013 and trying to get back $7,000 they paid for drugs that turned out to be fake.

One knocked on the man’s door, pretending to be a saleswoman, they said at the time.

When his girlfriend answered, prosecutors charged, they first ransacked the apartment, forced her into a car and made her drive through parts of Hudson County, including Union City and North Bergen, attempting to scare her into turning over the money they paid for the drugs.

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