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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Columbia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, September 15, 2022

Venezuelan National Charged with the July 2022 Hostage Taking of a U.S. National in the Dominican Republic

            WASHINGTON – An indictment returned in the District of Columbia was unsealed today, charging Deivy Jose Rodriguez Delgado, a Venezuelan national, also known as “Sebastian,” for his role in the armed hostage taking of a U.S. citizen in the Dominican Republic in July 2022.

            Rodriguez Delgado, 28, was arrested on Sept. 10, 2022, in the Dominican Republic by local authorities, and subsequently transferred into U.S. custody, pursuant to an arrest warrant issued in this matter, and he has since been detained.  He made his initial appearance this afternoon in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida and was ordered removed to the District of Columbia, where he will face prosecution on the filed indictment.

            Matthew M. Graves, U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, and Robert M. DeWitt, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Miami Field Office, made the announcement today.

            The indictment is related to the July 30, 2022, hostage taking and robbery of a U.S. citizen, who was on a temporary work assignment in the Dominican Republic.  In mid-July 2022, Rodriguez Delgado made contact with the victim using a dating App and later scheduled a dinner meeting on the pretense of a date.  On July 30, 2022, Rodriguez Delgado met the victim outside his hotel and picked him up in a vehicle.  While on the roadway, Rodriguez Delgado made an abrupt turn to a secluded area, where a second suspect quickly entered the rear of the vehicle and placed the victim in a head lock.  Rodriguez Delgado and the second suspect, both armed with knives, threatened the victim and demanded that he request a payment from friends and family to secure his safe release.  The victim, in fear for his life, complied with the demand, and ultimately obtained a payment from a family member.  Rodriguez Delgado and the suspect also stole personal items from victim, including his cell phone and ATM card.  The victim was released approximately two and half hours after being detained and after a ransom payment was made. 

            Charges in a complaint or indictment are merely allegations, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.  If convicted of any offense, a defendant’s sentence will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

            The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Miami Field Office with the assistance of the FBI Legal Attaché Office in the Dominican Republic, and with special thanks to the authorities in the Dominican Republic, including the Procuraduría General de la República Dominicana and the Special Division for the Investigation of International Organized Crime (DEICROI) of the National Police.

            The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jack F. Korba of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida.

Updated September 15, 2022