Skip to main content
Press Release

Mexican man receives life in prison for holding hostages at ransom

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Texas

LAREDO, Texas – A 27-year-old Mexican national has been sentenced for holding multiple men against their will and demanding ransom, announced U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani.

Edgardo Hernandez-Zamora pleaded guilty June 8, 2023, to hostage taking.

U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo has now ordered Hernandez-Zamora to serve the rest of his life in federal prison. 

Co-conspirators Adrian Ramirez, 20, and Adrian Ramirez-Vasquez, 39, both from Mexico, also pleaded guilty to their roles and previously received 48 and 60 months in prison, respectively. Not U.S. citizens, both men are expected to face removal proceedings following their terms of imprisonment.

In February 2023, law enforcement arrived at a residence in Laredo after learning of a potential kidnapping. During their investigation, authorities heard loud banging coming from a window within the home and observed men crying and screaming in Spanish “they were kidnapping us.”

Authorities determined the men were being held against their will while Hernandez-Zamora communicated with their family members to demand a ransom. Hernandez-Zamora threatened to tie the victims up and cause them physical harm and that they would not see their families again if they did not comply.

One of the family members paid $3,500 as a partial payment of the ransom demand for their release.

Ramirez and Ramirez-Vasquez were both found to have conspired with Hernandez-Zamora in operating the stash house.

Hernandez-Zamora has been and will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

Homeland Security Investigations and Border Patrol conducted the investigation with assistance from the Webb County Constable’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brandon Scott Bowling prosecuted the case.

Updated February 13, 2024

Violent Crime