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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Mexico

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Santa Fe Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Kidnapping Charge Arising from Kidnapping and Carjacking at Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo

Non-Indian Defendant Acknowledges Kidnapping and Carjacking Two Women at Pueblo’s Casino and Resort and Robbing Them

ALBUQUERQUE – Luis Molina, 33, of Santa Fe, N.M., pled guilty today in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to a kidnapping charge.  In entering the guilty plea, Molina acknowledged kidnapping and carjacking two women at the Ohkay Owingeh Casino and Resort in Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo, N.M., in Dec. 2015, and robbing them. 

Molina was indicted in Dec. 2016, and was charged with two counts of kidnapping and one count of carjacking.  The indictment alleged that Molina committed the crimes on Dec. 31, 2015, in Rio Arriba County, N.M. 

The FBI arrested Molina on April 26, 2017, after he was transferred into federal custody from state custody where he was being held on unrelated state charges.

During today’s proceedings, Molina pled guilty to one of the kidnapping charges.  In entering the guilty plea, Molina admitted that on Dec. 31, 2015, he was outside the Ohkay Owingeh Casino and Hotel and followed the two victims to their vehicle.  In his plea agreement, Molina admitted that he got into the backseat of the victims’ vehicle, told the victims that he had a gun, directed them to drive away, and threatened to hurt them if they did not follow his instructions.  Molina also admitted forcing the victims to drive to an ATM machine where they withdrew money, which they gave to Molina.  Molina then directed the victims to drive him to Espanola, N.M., where he stole their credit cards, drivers’ licenses and social security cards.

 At sentencing, Molina faces a statutory maximum penalty of life in federal prison.  Molina has been in federal custody since his arrest in April 2017 and he will remain detained pending a sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.

This case was investigated by the Santa Fe office of the FBI with assistance from the New Mexico State Police, the Santa Fe Sheriff’s Office, the Ohkay Owingeh Police Department and Espanola Police Department.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicholas J. Marshall is prosecuting the case. 

Topic(s): 
Indian Country Law and Justice
Violent Crime
Component(s): 
Updated July 18, 2018