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Press Release

Chaparral man sentenced to 19 years in prison for kidnapping

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

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Roberto Carlos Cervantes, 27, of Chaparral, New Mexico, was sentenced today in federal court to 19 years and seven months in prison for kidnapping. Upon his release from prison, Cervantes will be subject to three years of supervised release.

According to the 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.  Cervantes and Joshua Bowen, 28, of Alto, 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. 

Cervantes 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, Bowen took the victim to a bank in El Paso, Texas, where 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 where the co-defendants obtained money from the victim’s bank account. 

Cervantes and his co-defendants checked into a hotel in Las Cruces, New Mexico, on April 5, 2019, where they prevented the victim from leaving. Cervantes and co-defendant Alison Comstock, 28, of Carrizozo, New Mexico, left the hotel on April 6,2019, and Bowen and co-defendant Brittany Priddy, 30, of Ruidoso, New Mexico, left on April 7, 2019. 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. 

Bowen pleaded guilty on June 25, 2020, and was sentenced to 12 years and seven months in prison. Priddy pleaded guilty to kidnapping on April 28 and was sentenced to eight years and one month in prison. Derek Welborn, 30, of Ruidoso Downs, New Mexico, pleaded guilty to kidnapping on April 30 and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Cervantes and Comstock pleaded guilty to kidnapping on May 19, and Comstock was sentenced to ten years and one month in prison.

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 prosecuted the case. 

Updated October 27, 2021

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 21-208