Friday, September 29, 2023
Courthouse News Service
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11 Years for Kidnapping

HOUSTON (CN) - A Mexican man was sentenced to 11 years in prison for his role in the kidnapping of a father and son in Texas, federal prosecutors said.

Evaristo Guzman, 26, was the fourth suspect to plead guilty in the case, the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a statement announcing his 135-month sentence.

"On Oct. 19, 2009, at approximately 6:30 a.m., a father and son were in a vehicle when they were bumped from behind by a sedan and immediately cut off in the front by a second vehicle," prosecutors said in the statement. "Five Hispanic males approached the victims' vehicle, at least two of whom were brandishing pistols, and forcibly removed the two from their vehicle.

"The suspects obtained the phone number of one of the victim's relatives in Mexico and demanded $500,000. The victims were driven to the end of a dead end street in Fresno, Texas, bound together on a couch in a wooded area and guarded by two suspects at gunpoint, where they remained until being rescued by the FBI early in the morning on Oct. 20, 2009."

Guzman was later identified as one of the kidnappers, along with Reyes Ilberto Montes-Garmendia, 40, of Honduras, and David Villegas-Palma, 31, and Abednego Espinosa, 28, both of Mexico, prosecutors said.

All four pleaded guilty to conspiring to take hostages and have been sentenced to federal prison. Espinosa got 210 months, Villegas-Palma 86 months and Garmendia 100 months, prosecutors said.

The statement does not mention what happened to the fifth suspect.

The four men in custody were also ordered to pay $9,000 in restitution to the victims.

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