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Crime News

Oregon Man Posing As Cop Locked Woman in Cinder Block Cell and FBI is Searching for More Victims

“This woman was kidnapped, chained, sexually assaulted, and locked in a cinderblock cell,” an FBI agent stated.


By Dorian Geiger
A photo of Negasi Zuberi

An Oregon man is behind bars after the FBI says he impersonated a police officer and abducted a woman in Seattle, whom he later imprisoned in a cell hundreds of miles away.

Negasi Zuberi was indicted by a grand jury in Portland on charges of kidnapping and sexually assaulting a Seattle woman, federal prosecutors in Oregon announced on Wednesday. He was initially arrested in Reno, Nevada last month.

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Federal investigators say Zuberi, who is 29, was in Seattle on July 15 and encountered the unidentified victim. Zuberi, who was posing as a police officer, pointed a taser at the woman, handcuffed her and ordered her into the backseat of his vehicle, according to the case's criminal complaint. He then allegedly drove the victim roughly 450 miles to his Klamath Falls, Oregon home. During the drive, Zuberi sexually assaulted the victim and covered her face with a sweatshirt, she told authorities.

Once at Zuberi’s house, he allegedly confined the victim to a makeshift, cinder block cell he’d built inside his garage. The victim was able to escape the same day by banging on the cell door until it opened. She took a pistol from Zuberi’s vehicle and fled the property. She was ultimately rescued by a passing motorist, who alerted authorities to the disturbing incident.

Negasi Zuberi's cinderblock cell

“According to the complaint, this woman was kidnapped, chained, sexually assaulted, and locked in a cinderblock cell,” Stephanie Shark, an assistant special agent in charge with the FBI Portland Field Office, said in a statement. “Police say she beat the door with her hands until they were bloody in order to break free. Her quick thinking and will to survive may have saved other women from a similar nightmare. We are fortunate that this brave woman escaped and alerted authorities. ” 

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The following day, Zuberi was taken into custody after a brief standoff with Nevada State Patrol officers in a Reno retail parking lot. 

Authorities have now linked Zuberi, who also went by the aliases Sakima, Justin Hyche, and Justin Kouassi, to a string of violent sexual assaults in at least four states. He has previously lived in California, Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Utah, Florida, New York, New Jersey, Alabama, and Nevada. Investigators now suspect there may be more victims.

Negasi Zuberi's cinderblock cell

“Sakima has several different methods to gain control of his victims, including drugging their drinks, pretending to be a police officer, and soliciting the services of sex workers and then violently sexually assaulting them,” the FBI added. “Some of the encounters may have been filmed to make it appear as if the assault was consensual. The victims are threatened with retaliation if they notify the police.”

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Zuberi appeared in court in Nevada on July 26. He was expected to soon be extradited back to Oregon. If convicted on the interstate kidnapping charge, Zuberi could face life in prison. He faces and additional maximum 10-year prison sentence for transporting an individual across state lines with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity. 

Federal officials are asking anyone with information pertaining to Zuberi to contact the FBI by calling 1-800-Call-FBI.