SIOUX CITY -- A Bronson, Iowa, man who used homemade chloroform to abduct his ex-girlfriend was sentenced Friday to more than 10 years in federal prison.
Zack Smith, 22, pleaded guilty in March in U.S. District Court in Sioux City to one count of kidnapping. As part of a plea agreement, he had agreed to a 121-month prison sentence.
There is no parole in the federal system, and Smith must serve three years on supervised release upon completion of his prison sentence. As part of his plea agreement, prosecutors dropped a charge of interstate violation of a protection order, and Smith agreed to give up his right to appeal his conviction and sentence.
Smith hid for three hours in the South Sioux City woman's vehicle on June 3, 2021. 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 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 later 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 the woman for a week, but did not know what he would do with her after that.
A judge issued a no contact order against Smith a month earlier after he was arrested and charged in Woodbury County with two misdemeanor counts of false imprisonment for an incident in which he posed as his father and sent emails to the ex-girlfriend, telling her that Smith had committed suicide and asking her to come to his home to pick up her belongings. The ex-girlfriend and a friend went to the home, where Smith, armed with a BB gun, was waiting. He locked the door and would not let them leave. Police later rescued the women.
Smith pleaded guilty to the false imprisonment charges and was sentenced to 75 days in jail. He was initially charged in Woodbury County District Court in the kidnapping case, but those charges were dismissed after he was indicted in federal court.