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Press Release

Soledad Gang Member Who Faked His Own Kidnapping Arrested In Fresno

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of California
Charges Were Filed Today Against His Girlfriend for Lying to the FBI and Aiding and Abetting Bail Jumping

San Francisco - Jorge Jasso, 26, a Norteño street gang member, was arrested in Fresno, California on November 29, 2018 following his disappearance on October 22, 2018, announced United States Attorney Alex G. Tse and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Special Agent in Charge John F. Bennett.  A federal grand jury indicted Jasso on September 27, 2018 along with fourteen other gang members for a broad range of racketeering crimes, including racketeering conspiracy, conspiracy to commit murder and assault in aid of racketeering, attempted murder in aid of racketeering, and assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering.  Jasso was scheduled to appear in magistrate court in San Jose for a bail review hearing on October 22, 2018, the day he disappeared.  His girlfriend, Kimberly Herrera Villacorte, called 911 that morning to report that unknown individuals had burst into Jasso’s residence, dragged her into a closet by the hair, and kidnapped him.  The ankle monitor that had been placed on Jasso was found on the ground next to the residence.  U.S. Magistrate Judge Virginia K. DeMarchi issued a bench warrant against Jasso for failing to appear before the Court on that date, as required.

Suspecting that this might be a hoax given a number of inconsistencies in Herrera’s account of the events, the FBI and local law enforcement agencies surveilled Herrera for almost six weeks, which eventually led them to Jasso.  On November 29, 2018, Jasso and Herrera were in a Motel 6 in Fresno, California, and were seen entering a white GMC truck.  When police tried to pull it over, the truck tried to escape and crashed into another vehicle.  After the collision, Jasso jumped out of the truck and attempted to run from the police.  After a short chase, Jasso was taken into custody and was found to be in possession of a concealed firearm.  Jasso was arrested along with the other occupants of the vehicle, including Villacorte.  

This morning, the United States Attorney’s Office filed a criminal complaint against Herrera, 22, charging her with making false statements to government agents, in violation of Title 18, United States Code 1001(a) and aiding and abetting failure to appear, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 3146(a)(1) and 2.  If convicted, Herrera faces up to five years in prison for lying to the FBI and up to ten years in prison for assisting Jasso in jumping bail, however, the Complaint filed today merely alleges that crimes have been committed, and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.  In addition, any sentence following a conviction would be imposed by the court only after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.  

Last week’s arrest and efforts to locate Jasso are the product of a coordinated effort by the FBI, the California Highway Patrol, the Soledad Police Department, the Salinas Police Department, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Multi-Agency Gang Enforcement Consortium, and the Fresno Police Department.

Updated December 3, 2018