Chicago/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on May 29, 2024
Chicago Area Kidnappers Convicted, Duo Faces Lifetime Sentence for Terrorizing SuburbsSource: Utah Reps, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

In a chilling series of events that shook the Chicago suburbs, Sedgwick Williams and Tai Hon La were found guilty on charges of federal kidnapping for a conspiracy that terrorized multiple victims. Charged with carrying out brazen abductions in broad daylight, their reign of fear came to an end with a jury convicting them of the heinous crimes they orchestrated back in the fall of 2019. According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Illinois, the duo potentially faces a lifetime behind bars.

The two men were embroiled in a plan that struck Naperville and Westchester, with a failed attempt in South Holland. Convicted Williams, fleeing from the residence in South Holland, was nabbed by authorities along with his accomplice La. These orchestrated events unfolded as Williams, impersonating a law enforcement officer, personally abducted a man from his electronics store and later, along with his co-conspirator, knocked on the door of misfortune in Westchester, where multiple victims were rounded up and terrorized.

During the two-week trial that culminated on May 22, the prosecution presented undeniable evidence of the kidnappings. The first incident involved the crooks posing as cops, cuffing and forcing a man into a car at gunpoint outside his business. The victim endured physical assault and was extorted while held in a vacant Chicago unit, only to be released to seek hospital treatment for injuries sustained. A similar method was used in the second kidnapping in Westchester, where the victims were confined to their home's basement while their valuables were pilfered.

However, the third attempt in South Holland crumbled when the intended target dialed 911, leading to the swift intervention of the local police. In this thwarted plan, escaping with his co-conspirator La, Williams' plans were cut short as they were arrested. These details and more were relayed by Acting U.S. Attorney Morris Pasqual and Special Agent Robert W. "Wes" Wheeler, Jr., as they announced the convictions in a statement obtained by the U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Illinois.