A New Jersey man accused of holding his girlfriend captive for years has pleaded guilty to criminal restraint and drug-related charges.

Michael Mendez (New Jersey State Police)

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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