Reading woman gets 28 years for ransom case after bad drug deal

A Reading woman was sentenced to 28 years in prison for kidnapping a teenager whose mother owed her $500 for crack cocaine, federal authorities said today.

Grace Marie Perez-Martinez, 27, and an accomplice, Samantha Conrad, also of Reading who was sentenced last year, took the 14-year-old as the victim walked home from school in October 2011. Once inside the car, Perez-Martinez beat the teenager and threatened to kill the unidentified victim, saying, "You see this [gun] right here; if I don't get my money you may not be going home to mom."

The mother of the teenager enlisted the help of Reading police to make ransom payments to Perez-Martinez.

After the first $500 ransom was paid, Perez-Martinez drove to Philadelphia to buy PCP, or phencyclidine. Police had captured on video Conrad picking up the first ransom payment from the mailbox of the victim's mother's home.

The teenager was eventually freed after a second ransom payment was delivered, but with the threat from Perez-Martinez that she would kill the teen and the teen's family.

Perez-Martinez pleaded guilty to multiple kidnapping and drug charges in July last year.

Contact Brian X. McCrone at 215-854-2267 or Follow @brianxmccrone on Twitter.

Contact the Breaking News Desk at 215-854-2443; Follow @phillynews on Twitter.