Kidnapping, drug charges in multi-defendant case

Nearly 20 people allegedly involved in a drug smuggling scheme that led to kidnapping face serious charges, records show.

According to a recently unsealed indictment, Juan Moreno, and at least two others, Oscar Serafin Ibarra, and Gerardo Ruiz, face kidnapping charges related to the forced taking of two men, identified as “J.L.” and “D.G.,” in the indictment, in October 2019 as part of a larger alleged illegal enterprise.

(Read the indictment)

According to the court record, between Oct. 13 and Oct. 20 in 2019, Moreno and others allegedly conspired to “unlawfully seize, confine, inveigle, decoy, kidnap, adduct, and carry away and hold for ransom, reward or otherwise J.L., and D.G., and in committing or in furtherance of the commission of the offense…”

The trio allegedly threatened with death the families of J.L., and D.G., and directed them to show up at a ranch in Edinburg, according to the indictment.

On Oct. 14, 2019, Ibarra, Ruiz, and Moreno met the men at a ranch in Edinburg and tied them up.

The following day, Moreno, J.L., and D.G., rode in a vehicle that crossed into Mexico from the U.S. through the Donna port of entry — with Ibarra and Ruiz escorting them in a separate vehicle into Mexico.

“On or about October 15, 2019, Ruiz called a co-conspirator to advise that D.G. and J.L. were then in the United Mexican States,” the document states.

According to the indictment, the men continued to hold the two kidnapped men in Mexico for about two weeks, “against their will for ransom, reward or otherwise.”

During that time, they forced the men to make calls into the U.S. to people who could send payments to co-conspirators in exchange for the release of the men.

In addition to the defendants, Moreno, Ibarra, and Ruiz, the indictment includes another 16 defendants, records show.

Indicted along with the three defendants in this case are Geovanny Oreste Garcia-Quevedo, Juan Carlos Rodriguez, Alejandro Enrique George-Boza, Jose Joel Quevedo-Bouzamayor, Oilevy Blanco-Prieto, David Gonzalez, Armando Izquierdo, Lazaro Cruz, Laureano Javier Roldan-Quevedo, Ulises Marino, Yetmis Martinrnz-Pujol, Jesus M. Mesa, Yoany Ochoa-Labacena, Jorge Mendez Chavez and Jerman Loera.

If convicted of the kidnapping charges, the trio could face a minimum of 20 years in prison.