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Press Release

Alto man sentenced to over 12 years in prison for kidnapping

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

              ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Joshua Neil Bowen, 28, of Alto, New Mexico, was sentenced on Feb. 16 in federal court to 12 years and seven months in prison for kidnapping. Upon his release, Bowen will be subject to three years of supervised release.

              According to Bowen’s plea agreement and other public court documents, he and four co-defendants abducted the victim from a travel center in Mescalero, New Mexico, on April 4, 2019.  Bowen and Roberto Cervantes, 25, of Chaparral, New Mexico, each had a firearm at the time.  Cervantes hit the victim in the face several times.  They also tied and bound the victim in an attempted robbery. 

              Bowen and his co-defendants took the victim to Chaparral where the co-defendants tried to withdraw money from the victim’s bank account with a debit card.  From there, some of the co-defendants traveled to El Paso, Texas, where Bowen took the victim to a bank. Bowen ordered the victim to pretend to be Bowen’s grandfather and change the PIN for the victim’s ATM card. After changing the PIN, Bowen transported the victim back to New Mexico. Some of the co-defendants obtained money from the victim’s bank account. 

              Bowen and his co-defendants checked into a hotel in Las Cruces, New Mexico, on April 5, 2019, where they prevented the victim from leaving. Bowen and Brittany Priddy, 30, of Ruidoso, New Mexico, left the hotel on April 7, 2019, and traveled to a residence. On April 8, 2019, the victim managed to call his son and tell him where he was. An officer from the Las Cruces Police Department responded and rescued the victim. 

              Priddy pleaded guilty to kidnapping on April 28. Derek Welborn, 30, of Ruidoso Downs, New Mexico, pleaded guilty to kidnapping on April 30. Cervantes and Alison Comstock, 28, of Carrizozo, New Mexico, pleaded guilty to kidnapping on May 19. All of the remaining defendants are in custody awaiting sentencing.

              The FBI investigated this case with the New Mexico State Police, Ruidoso Downs Police Department, Las Cruces Police Department and Dona Ana Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Marisa A. Ong and Matilda McCarthy Villalobos are prosecuting the case. 

Updated February 26, 2021

Violent Crime
Release Number: 21-39