News and Press Releases

11+ Years in Hostage Taking Case

Feb. 29, 2012

HOUSTON – Evaristo Guzman, 26, of Mexico, has been handed a 135-month prison term by U.S. District Judge Lee H. Rosenthal for his involvement in the hostage taking of a local man and son, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today.

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. Five Hispanic males approached the victim’s 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 gun point where they remained until being rescued by the FBI early in the morning on Oct. 20, 2009.

Guzman was later identified along with Reyes Ilberto Montes-Garmendia, 40, a citizen of Honduras, and David Villegas-Palma, 31, and Abednego Espinosa, 28, both of Mexico. All four entered pleas of guilty to conspiracy to take hostages and all have now been sentenced to federal prison. Espinosa, Villegas Palma and Montes Garmendia were previously sentenced to 210, 86 and 100 months, respectively, by U.S. District Judge Nancy Atlas. All four men were further ordered to pay $9,000 in restitution to the victims in the case. 

The case was investigated by the FBI and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jennie Basile.

 

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