Office of the United States Attorney, Ann Birmingham Scheel
District of Arizona
May 1, 2012
LAST MEMBER OF HOSTAGE TAKING GROUP SENTENCED TO 13 YEARS IN FEDERAL PRISON
TUCSON, Ariz. - On May 16, 2012, Oscar Monroy-Reyes, 21, of Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico, was sentenced by Senior U.S. District Judge Frank R. Zapata to 156 months in federal prison, to be followed by 5 years of supervised release. Monroy-Reyes pleaded guilty on Aug. 24, 2011 to hostage taking.
According to court documents, on March 24, 2010, the Pima County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call from a Tucson resident who reported that an Hispanic male was asking to be allowed into her home because he was being chased by two other Hispanic males. As deputies were arriving at the caller’s residence, they received a second 911 call about another individual who was asking for help at a different nearby residence. Deputies determined that both individuals had been held hostage for several days at a nearby home and that both were able to escape when one of the hostage takers left a handgun unattended to use the bathroom.
As deputies were driving the men to the house from where they had escaped, the men alerted deputies that two individuals walking away from the house, Jose Luis Bautista-Barajas and Elsa Carillo-Banuelos, had assisted Monroy-Reyes in holding them hostage. After deputies took the two into custody, they entered the house and found four Hispanic males inside, one of whom had sustained head injuries when one of the hostage takers hit him in the head with a handgun. After receiving a third 911 call, deputies located Monroy-Reyes hiding underneath a boat in the back yard of another nearby residence.
The hostages were all illegally present in the United States. Although the hostages had initially arranged to be smuggled into the country for fees in the range of $1,500 to $1,600 each, the fees had been increased to $3,500. The hostages were being held by the use of force until their family members could pay the increased fees. They were kept in a locked room, and had their shoes, belts, and identification taken away from them. Each of the hostages identified Monroy-Reyes as having led the group that was holding them hostage by organizing the time when calls were made by the victims to family members and by threatening the victims if the ransom was not paid.
On Sept. 23, 2010, Elsa Carillo-Banuelos was sentenced to a term of 87 months in federal prison, followed by a five year term of supervised release. On April 19, 2011, Jose Luis Bautista-Barajas was sentenced to a term of 121 months in federal prison, followed by a five year term of supervised release.
The investigation in this case was conducted by Special Agents assigned to the Office of the Assistant Special Agent in Charge in the Tucson Office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations, and the Pima County Sheriff’s Office. The prosecution is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Arturo Aguilar, District of Arizona, Tucson.
CASE NUMBER: CR-10-00859
RELEASE NUMBER: 2012-126(Monroy-Reyes)
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For more information on the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Arizona, visit http://www.justice.gov/usao/az/