News and Press Releases

Two Men Charged with Last Year's Kidnaping of Six-year Old

February 24, 2009

Las Vegas, Nev. – Two men have been charged in a federal criminal complaint with conspiring to kidnap and hold for ransom a boy who was abducted from his Las Vegas home on October 15, 2008, announced Greg Brower, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.

Luis Vega-Rubio, 36, and Jose Lopez-Buelna, 49, both of Las Vegas, are charged with one count of Conspiracy to Kidnap a Child. Vega-Rubio was arrested this morning by FBI Agents in Los Angeles, and is scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles at 2:00 p.m. today. Lopez-Buelna has been in federal custody since October 2008, when unrelated federal charges were brought against him for being a deported alien found unlawfully in the United States. Lopez-Buelna is expected to make an initial appearance in court on the new charge in the near future. If convicted, Vegas-Rubio and Lopez-Buelna face a minimum term of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The complaint states that the boy, identified as CMP, was abducted from his residence in Las Vegas at approximately 7:23 a.m. on October 15, 2008. The boy's mother reported to law enforcement that a Hispanic male entered the residence and pointed a handgun at her and her boyfriend, and restrained them with duct tape and zip ties. The mother further reported that they observed only one man in the residence, but heard at least one other voice. The men searched the residence indicating they were looking for money, and then kidnaped the boy. Three days later, the boy was released alone on a street near downtown Las Vegas. The boy told law enforcement that he was held at two different locations during the kidnaping, and that the people who took him transported him in a suitcase.

The Complaint further alleges that the boy's grandfather, Clemens Fred Tinnemeyer, had stolen money from the defendants. Tinnemeyer was allegedly working as a drug courier, and had been transporting large amounts of narcotics and money between the United States and Mexico in motor homes. The Complaint states that Lopez-Buelna hired Tinnemeyer to transport narcotics after Tinnemeyer accrued a debt to him for methamphetamine. In June or July 2008, Tinnemeyer allegedly found over $4 million in cash hidden in the motor home he was driving. Tinnemeyer was disgruntled about not being paid for a previous trip and decided to keep the money. Lopez-Buelna and Vega-Rubio then started searching for Tinnemeyer.

The Complaint states that about three months before the kidnaping, defendant Vega-Rubio allegedly delivered a threatening note to the boy's mother requesting Tinnemeyer to contact them. Vega-Rubio and Lopez-Buelna also contacted several of Tinnemeyer's friends and acquaintances in the Las Vegas area and told them to find Tinnemeyer. Lopez-Buelna allegedly used a gun to force one of Tinnemeyer's friends to show him where Tinnemeyer's daughter/the boy's mother resided, and offered her $20,000 to find Tinnemeyer. Lopez-Buelna also told people that the boy had been kidnaped in an attempt to draw Tinnemeyer to Las Vegas.

Tinnemeyer was arrested on October 17, 2008, in Riverside, California, and is currently in federal custody. He is charged with interstate and foreign travel or transportation in aid of racketeering for shipping drug money from Waveland, Mississippi, to Las Vegas, Nevada. Law enforcement agents investigating the case recovered over $3.7 million from safety deposit boxes, bank accounts, vehicles, and storage units, in Mississippi, Nevada, and California, associated with Tinnemeyer.

The public is reminded that a Criminal Complaint contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

The case is being investigated by the FBI and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Kathleen Bliss and Nicholas D. Dickinson.

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