California Woman Charged with Kidnapping Two-Year Old Isleta Pueblo Child
ALBUQUERQUE – Janette Briones, 58, of Big Bear, Calif., made her initial appearance in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California yesterday afternoon on a criminal complaint charging her with kidnapping a two-year old Isleta Pueblo boy and taking the young victim across state lines. A detention hearing is scheduled for Oct. 10, 2014, to determine whether Briones will be detained pending her transfer to New Mexico to face the charge against her.
According to the criminal complaint, Briones obtained permission for a brief visit with the young victim and his three-year old sister, both of whom are members and residents of Isleta Pueblo, on the evening of Oct. 2, 2014. An hour and fifteen minutes later, Briones left the three-year at the doorstep of her home in Isleta Pueblo, but allegedly drove away with the young victim. Investigation by the FBI and Isleta Pueblo Tribal Police Department revealed that Briones did not have permission to take the victim. Investigation also revealed that Briones was in the vicinity of Sugarloaf, Calif., at approximately 5:00 p.m. on Oct. 3, 2014.
The FBI arrested Briones in Big Bear, Calif., at approximately 2:00 a.m. on Oct. 4, 2014. The young victim was with Briones when she was arrested. The victim is safe and did not suffer any physical injury. He has been returned to his family in Isleta Pueblo.
If convicted of the charge in the complaint, Briones faces a penalty of imprisonment for any term of years or for life. Charges in criminal complaints are merely accusations and defendants are presumed innocent unless found guilty in a court of law.
This case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of the FBI and the Isleta Pueblo Tribal Police Department with assistance from the Victorville Resident Agency of the FBI, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Station in Big Bear, Calif., and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California. Assistant U.S. Attorney Elaine Y. Ramirez is prosecuting the case.