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Bronson man pleads not guilty to using homemade chloroform, kidnapping ex-girlfriend

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SIOUX CITY -- A Bronson, Iowa, man accused of using homemade chloroform to abduct his ex-girlfriend has pleaded not guilty to federal charges.

Zack Smith, 21, entered his plea Oct. 8 in U.S. District Court in Sioux City to charges of kidnapping and interstate violation of a protection order.

Zack Smith mugshot


Smith was arrested and charged with hiding for three hours in the South Sioux City woman's vehicle on June 3. When she got in and after she had dropped a friend off at school, Smith threatened her with an Airsoft pistol and forced her into his vehicle, where he blindfolded her, bound her with zip ties and duct tape, and rendered her unconscious with homemade chloroform.

The victim told investigators that she awakened alone in a shed at Smith's home in rural Bronson and was able remove rope and duct tape from her ankles and escape. She was found at a rural Woodbury County intersection by a family member who was looking for her.

Investigators found Smith in possession of a backpack containing condoms, lubrication, ropes, ties and duct tape. Smith told investigators he had used items in the backpack during the abduction and had been planning the kidnapping for more than two weeks. He said he planned to keep her for a week, but did not know what he would do with her after that.

Smith was initially charged in Woodbury County District Court, but those charges were dismissed after he was indicted in federal court.

District Associate Judge Todd Hensley had issued a no contact order against Smith on May 12 after Smith was arrested and charged in Woodbury County with two misdemeanor counts of false imprisonment for an incident in which Smith lured his ex-girlfriend to an apartment. When she arrived with a friend, Smith locked the door and would not let them leave.

Smith pleaded guilty to the two charges on Oct. 4. According to court documents, he will be sentenced to 75 days in jail and credited for time he's spent in custody since his June arrest.


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