Kidnappers Get Decades in Prison
McALLEN, Texas (CN) - Two brothers who kidnapped undocumented immigrants from a South Texas stash house and threatened to kill them if their families did not pay ransom were sentenced to 40 and 30 years in federal prison.
Rafael and Roberto Cruz, both of Mission, Texas, pleaded guilty in February to conspiracy to commit hostage-taking, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.
U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez sentenced the brothers this week.
Rafael Cruz was sentenced to 40 years, 10 more than his brother Roberto, "as the court took into consideration the fact he had sexually assaulted a female undocumented alien on a number of occasions," prosecutors said in the statement.
Police were tipped off to the Cruzes by a man who called 911 and said he and others were being held hostage at a house in Edinburg.
"Upon their rescue, these individuals told law enforcement they were kidnapped at gunpoint from a stash house by the Cruz brothers and a third individual who is a fugitive and taken to the stash house in Edinburg. There, they were made to call their families and request money to be paid for their release. They were also threatened with death if the money was not paid," according to the statement.