Thursday, December 5, 2013
PORTLAND – Nineteen-year-old Alexander Filatov of Gorham sat in the back of the courtroom Monday, watching as the man accused of pointing a gun at him, forcing him to get into the trunk of his own car and driving him to Delaware pleaded not guilty.
Travis Landry, 29, of Surry, was making his first court appearance in Maine on charges of kidnapping and using a firearm in relation to a crime of violence, both punishable by life in prison.
Landry, the tallest man in the courtroom, spoke briefly at the hearing in U.S. District Court, wearing a tan prison uniform with his tattooed arms behind his back.
Landry has been in custody since his arrest on May 7 after a high-speed chase in North Carolina. He told Judge Nancy Torreson that he agreed to continue being held while the case against him is pending.
Filatov was silent throughout the hearing. He sat next to a court victim-witness advocate, and declined to speak with a reporter afterward.
Landry is accused of kidnapping Filatov at gunpoint on April 24 after Filatov advertised his 2004 BMW sedan for sale on Craigslist. Filatov went to meet a man who had expressed interest in buying it, according to an affidavit filed by FBI agent Patrick Clancy.
In the affidavit, Clancy's account runs from the time Filatov met Landry at a motel on Riverside Street in Portland to the time of Landry's arrest less than two weeks later.
The men took the car for a test drive through Westbrook before stopping at a parking lot on Larrabee Road, the affidavit says. Filatov gave Landry a bill of sale, which Landry signed.
According to Clancy, Landry then asked Filatov to open the trunk of the car and told him to get into it to see how he "fit."
Filatov later told police that he thought Landry was joking until Landry lifted up his shirt, showing a .45-caliber Glock handgun tucked into his waistband.
"Fearing for his life because of the gun, Filatov climbed into the trunk of the car," the affidavit says.
Landry drove off with Filatov trapped inside. At one point, Landry stopped and demanded that Filatov give him his wallet and the personal identification number for his debit card. Filatov complied.
After driving for about eight hours, Landry stopped in a secluded wooded area near a cemetery, according to the affidavit. He opened the trunk and told Filatov to get out and run.
Clancy said Filatov eventually found an open Dunkin' Donuts shop in Newark, Del., where he called police. Landry took Filatov's cellphone and the car, heading west.
Clancy wrote in his affidavit that a schoolteacher in Killeen, Texas, who had met Landry online wired him $400. The teacher told police that Landry arrived at her home on April 26 driving a gray BMW with Maine license plates.
Landry stayed with her until April 30, when the teacher discovered he had taken her vacuum cleaner, an iPad, a Canon camera and her debit card, the affidavit says.
Landry's father, Rick Landry, told authorities that he last saw his son with his estranged wife on May 6. They were driving a gray BMW in Killeen.
Landry's wife called Rick Landry on May 7 and told him she was talking with her estranged husband on the phone when he told her he had to hang up because he was being chased by police.
The affidavit says deputies in Granville County, N.C., stopped the gray BMW on May 7 for speeding and a window tint violation. Landry then led police on a high-speed chase that ended with his arrest after the BMW hit several police cars.
Federal defender David Beneman has been appointed to represent Landry.
Scott Dolan can be contacted at 791-6304 or at: