Two Men Convicted Following Trial Related to Extortion/Kidnapping Plot
Fort Worth, Texas – Following a trial before U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor, two men have been convicted for their role in an extortion and kidnapping scheme that occurred in Fort Worth in October 2017, announced Erin Nealy Cox, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas.
Nygul Anderson, 19, and Albert Gonzalez, 18, were each convicted of one count of a conspiracy to use an interstate facility to commit a travel act violation. Currently, they each face a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000. Judge O’Connor reserved ruling on the two remaining counts, following the one-day bench trial.
According to the evidence presented at trial and the documents filed in this case, on September 22, 2017, a victim began receiving threatening calls from an unrecognizable Mexican telephone number. The caller stated he had kidnapped the victim’s two brothers in Rioverde, San Luis Potosi, Mexico and demanded $300,000 or they would be killed. The next day the ransom demand was lowered to $40,000 and then again to $20,000. Instructions were given to deliver the money, once the money was delivered the caller disclosed the location of the brothers and they were found tied up in a motel room in Rioverde, San Luis Potosi, Mexico.
On September 29, 2017, the same victim received another call from the same Mexican telephone number demanding an additional $100,000 or else they would kidnap the brothers again and kill them. The deadline for the second ransom drop was Friday, October 13, 2017.
On October 13, 2017, the kidnappers in Mexico and the victim agreed to a location at a Home Depot in Fort Worth for the money drop. At approximately 4:30 p.m., a controlled money drop was made at the agreed upon meeting location.
Shortly thereafter, four individuals – Anderson, Gonzalez, Fernando Cabrera (who previously pled guilty), and a 17 year-old minor – were arrested as they attempted to collect the ransom money.
During trial, the government proved that these four individuals believed that they were collecting $20,000 in unlawful proceeds. The four conspirators had met in McAllen, Texas, and then drove to Houston, then to Dallas, and then to Fort Worth in an attempt to collect the money. These four conspirators communicated with other conspirators in Mexico during the trip about the location of the money pick, the amount of money to be retrieved, and precautions that should be taken to avoid detection.
The FBI and the North Richland Hills Police Department investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys P.J. Meitl and Chris Wolfe prosecuted.
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