HAMMOND | A Merrillville woman was sentenced in federal court Monday to seven years in prison for her role in kidnapping and robbing a man, according to court records.
Diamond Toney, 19, pleaded guilty in September to charges of using a firearm in relation to a crime of violence and aiding and abetting. In exchange for pleading guilty to the charges, the government agreed to drop a kidnapping charge.
Her boyfriend, Dedrick Bufkin, 20, of Merrillville, was sentenced last month to five years in federal prison for his role in the scheme.
According to court documents, Toney and Bufkin created a profile on the Plenty of Fish online dating website and began trolling the site looking for someone they could rob. According to a sentencing memorandum, the couple needed the money to relocate to Mississippi.
In March, Toney and a Sauk Village man started to chat and agreed to meet in Merrillville, according to a complaint filed in federal court.
Once the man arrived in Merrillville, he saw Toney and was then greeted by Bufkin who threatened him with a gun, according to a complaint. The couple took $100 from him, tied him up and forced him into the trunk of the car, police said.
Toney and Bufkin then drove around for hours, stopped at local stores and plotted other robberies, according to reports.
The Sauk Village man was eventually released from the trunk and reported the incident to police.