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Justice News

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

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Federal Agents Make Arrests Related to Kidnapping for Ransom Scheme

LAREDO, Texas – Two Laredo men have been arrested for conspiracy to violate interstate communications by demanding money prior to releasing two hostages, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.

John Daniel Pavon, 21, and Juan Manuel Ancira, 21, made their initial appearance yesterday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Guillermo R. Garcia, at which time the court ordered them into custody pending a preliminary hearing and a detention hearing set for Feb. 16, 2018, at 10:00 a.m.  

On Feb. 8, 2018, a Wichita, Kansas, man reported to authorities that he received a phone call from an unknown male in Laredo claiming to be holding his son against his will, according to the complaint. The unknown male allegedly instructed him to send $2,000 through Money-gram or he would not release his son.

The next day, the FBI spoke to a group of people outside a residence in the 4000 block of Guadalajara Street in Laredo. Agents learned that two men had allegedly ran out of the residence and jumped the fence. They were the Wichita man’s son and another kidnapping victim. The second victim reported that his captors asked his family in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, for $4,000 before they would release him, according to the allegations.

The criminal complaint alleges both victims identified Pavon and Ancira as individuals involved in their kidnapping and who held them against their will.

If convicted of use of interstate communications containing demand for ransom, the defendants face up to 20 years in federal prison.

The FBI conducted the investigation with the assistance of Border Patrol, Drug Enforcement Administration, Texas Rangers, Texas Department of Public Safety, Laredo Police Department and Laredo Airport Police. Assistant U.S. Attorney Julian Castaneda is prosecuting the case.

A criminal complaint is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.

A defendant is considered innocent unless and until convicted through due process of law.

Violent Crime
Updated February 14, 2018