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NJ man pleads guilty to drug, restraining charges

PATERSON, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey man accused of holding his girlfriend captive for years has pleaded guilty to criminal restraint and drug-related charges.

The Attorney General’s office says Michael Mendez entered his guilty plea Thursday in Passaic County.

Police arrested Mendez last August when detectives executed a search warrant at his Paterson home. Police say the 42-year-old reputed gang member had about 150 prescription anti-anxiety and pain pills in his home, as well as marijuana and more than $22,000 in cash.

Authorities also found Mendez had been keeping his girlfriend locked in their bedroom, a practice the woman told reporters she was comfortable with.

Under the plea agreement, the state will recommend at his March 28 sentencing that Mendez get a 5 year prison term.

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