Five Queens men are facing kidnapping and murder charges for luring a restaurant deliveryman to a location in Flushing in July, where he was abducted for ransom and eventually beaten to death before he was buried in a shallow grave in a New Hampshire forest, according to federal prosecutors.
Jiangnan Lin, 22, and Dong Liu, 35, along with Sui Zhang, 22, Donxing Zheng, 28, and Wangchao He, 29, all of Queens, were indicted by a federal grand jury in White Plains in connection with the kidnapping of Peng Cheng Li, which resulted in his death.
As alleged in court filings and the indictment unsealed on Nov. 29 in White Plains federal court, the five men used an internet-based cellphone app to call a Flushing restaurant, abducted the delivery man and drove him through Queens, Manhattan, the Bronx and Westchester County before they eventually took the victim to New Hampshire. At some point after he was abducted, Li was beaten to death. His body was discovered three days later buried in a shallow grave at Twin Mountains, New Hampshire, with a fractured skull and other injuries.
“Today’s arrest is a testament to my Office’s dedication to protecting the safety and security of our citizens and pursuing those who dare violate that to justice,” U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said.
Williams thanked the FBI and the NYPD for their work on the investigation.
“These five defendants deprived the victim Peng Cheng Li of his freedom and ultimately his life when they allegedly kidnapped, assaulted and murdered him in a failed attempt to collect a payment,” FBI Special Agent-in-Charge James Smith said. “This type of barbaric behavior has no place in our society and will not be tolerated. The FBI will be sure that anyone attempting to use violence to make money will be brought to justice.”
The five Queens men are each charged with kidnapping resulting in death, which carries a maximum potential sentence of death or life in prison; kidnapping conspiracy, which carries a maximum potential sentence of life in prison; and conspiracy to distribute ketamine, which carries a maximum potential sentence of 10 years in prison.
“As demonstrated by this case, the dangerous combination of illicit drugs and brutal violence will never be tolerated in New York City,” NYPD Commissioner Edward Caban said. “Today’s charges are the next step in our journey toward justice for Mr. Li. The tireless work of NYPD investigators, FBI agents and prosecutors from the office of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District will ensure that all involved in these grievous crimes are held accountable for their despicable acts.”