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Press Release

Three Hostage Takers Sentenced To At Least A Decade In Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Arizona

PHOENIX – On Nov. 25, 2013, Francisco Javier Astorga-Velarde, 23, and Jose Pedro Soto-Valdez, 24, were sentenced by U.S. District Judge Susan R. Bolton to 12 years imprisonment. The third co-defendant, Noel Galindez-Marmolejo, 33, received a sentence of 10 years.  All three defendants are citizens of Mexico and pleaded guilty in August 2013 to using a firearm during a crime of violence which, in this case, was hostage taking.

                 In late 2012, the defendants held undocumented aliens hostage at a residence in Phoenix while waiting for the aliens’ smuggling fees to be paid.  The defendants increased the aliens’ smuggling fees and held them at gun point. The captors beat, pistol whipped and threatened to kill the hostages as well as broke one of the hostage’s fingers.  One hostage stated a sexual assault occurred at the house.   

The investigation in this case was conducted by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations and the Phoenix Police Department. The prosecution was handled by Lisa E. Jennis, Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of Arizona, Phoenix.

CASE NUMBER:           CR-12-02104-PHX-SRB  
RELEASE NUMBER:   2013-089_Astorga-Velarde

For more information on the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Arizona, visit

Updated January 7, 2015