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Press Release

Venezuelan Citizen Found Guilty of Three Separate Hostage-Takings of American Citizens in the Dominican Republic

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Defendant Used Dating App to Lure His Victims

            WASHINGTON - Deivy Jose Rodriguez Delgado, 29, a Venezuelan national, was found guilty on December 11 in the District of Columbia for the 2022 hostage-takings of three U.S. Citizens in the Dominican Republic at knifepoint.

            The conviction was announced by U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves and Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey B. Veltri of the FBI Miami Field Office.

            A jury in U.S. District Court convicted Delgado of conspiracy to commit hostage-taking and three counts of hostage-taking. Chief U.S. District Court Judge James E. Boasberg scheduled sentencing for Apr. 12, 2024.

            According to the government’s evidence, Delgado, also known as “Sebastian,” kidnapped the men in separate instances between July 5 and July 30, 2022.  In all three instances, Delgado lured his victim online with the promise of a friendly “date,” and picked the victim up in his car. After driving a short distance, Delgado stopped suddenly to let an accomplice into the backseat, at which point Delgado and his accomplice held the victim at knifepoint and demanded ransom for their release. Delgado demanded ransom from each of the three men and asked for it to be paid to various online banking accounts, including the same CashApp account.

            All three victims were forced at knifepoint to call their friends and family and ask for money to secure their release. The victims were held in captivity by Delgado and his accomplices for extended periods of time and were only released after Delgado believed a ransom payment had been made by their friends and family.  In all three hostage takings, the victims were also robbed of their personal belongings before being released on the streets of the Dominican Republic. 

            Following victim reports and a request from the FBI to act on the hostage takings, Dominican authorities began an investigation in August 2022. Local law enforcement in the Dominican Republic traced a vehicle used in one of the hostage takings to Delgado and arrested him on Sept. 10, 2022. During a search of the vehicle, Dominican authorities found two serrated knifes, similar to those used in the hostage takings. On Oct. 4, 2022, Dominican authorities transferred Delgado to U.S. custody.

            This case was investigated by the FBI’s Miami Field Office.

            The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys John Korba and Jolie Zimmerman of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. 

Updated December 14, 2023

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 23-758