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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, December 8, 2016

Foreign National Sentenced to 24 Years in Prison for Kidnapping U.S. Citizen in Mexico

A Mexican national was sentenced yesterday to 24 years in federal prison for kidnapping a U.S. citizen in Mexico. 

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, made the announcement.

Felix Becerra Herrera, 35, of Mexico, was sentenced by United States District Judge Darrin P. Gayles to 288 months’ imprisonment.  On September 20, 2016, Becerra Herrera pled guilty to one count of hostage taking and one count of use of a firearm in the commission of a violent felony. 

“International borders do not shield foreign based kidnappers and violent offenders from U.S. prosecution,” stated U.S. Attorney Wifredo Ferrer. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners will utilize the long-arm of our American legal system to seek justice on our soil for these egregious offenses.”

“The FBI arrested Felix Becerra Herrera at his place of work in Odessa, TX, in May 2016 after receiving a tip as to his whereabouts,” said Xanthie C. Mangum, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of FBI Miami.  “He participated in a gruesome shooting and kidnapping involving two naturalized U.S. Citizens in Mexico in December, 2012, and now faces a 288 month sentence for his crimes.”

According to the court record, Becerra Herrera was involved in the December 2012 armed assault of two nationals of the United States, in Veracruz, Mexico.  During the assault, Becerra Herrera and others used handguns to shoot at the truck containing the nationals, seriously wounding the driver.  Becerra Herrera and others then kidnapped one of the passengers and held her for ransom before finally releasing her, nearly a week later.  Becerra Herrera was ultimately apprehended in Texas, several years after he had illegally entered the United States following the violent kidnapping.

Mr. Ferrer commended the outstanding investigative efforts of the FBI.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Adam Fels.

Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

Updated December 9, 2016