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Pharr man faces sentencing for 2021 kidnapping, attempted ransom

department of justice DOJ
Posted at 9:40 PM, May 16, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-16 22:45:17-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A 26-year-old Pharr man has admitted to unlawfully detaining a 19-year-old Alamo man to force aransom to be paid for his safe return, according to a release from the U.S. Attorneys Office Southern District of Texas.

On June 23, 2021, Gonzalez lured the victim into Mexico with a potential job opportunity. He then picked the victim up once he crossed into Mexico on foot and brought him a house located in Reynosa, Mexico.

Gonzalez and several co-conspirators then beat and restrained the victim. The release states that from June 23 to June 25, the hostage takers demanded $5,000 and a firearm in exchange for his return.

When the family didn't immediately pay the ransom, they sent a video to the victim’s family of them beating the victim with a wooden board until it fractured.

Law enforcement eventually determined the location of the house where he was being held and conducted a search of the home.

They found the victim bound with zip ties, covered with a blanket and with bruises throughout his body. They also discovered Gonzalez located inside the house.

Sentencing will be imposed on Aug. 18.

Gonzalez faces up to life in prison and a possible $250,000 maximum fine. He will remain in custody pending that hearing.

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