Three Convicted of Kidnapping Children
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – A 31-year-old woman admitted she aided her sister in kidnapping two children from their Corpus Christi home, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson. Georgia Gregg pleaded guilty today, while her sister - Jada Gregg-Warren, 32 - and her sister’s boyfriend - Ivan Francisco Alvarez-Benavente, 26, pleaded guilty June 30, 2016.
The court heard that Gregg and Gregg-Warren, both of Corpus Christi, kidnapped the young children, ages five and four, from their residence on the night of Aug. 19, 2015. After the kidnapping, the two women travelled to McAllen with the children. Alvarez-Benavente, a Mexican citizen, followed them in a separate vehicle.
The Corpus Christi Police Department (CCPD) immediately disseminated an Amber Alert in pursuit of all three adults and the two children. As part of the alert, a Child Abduction Response Team was deployed with the assistance of the FBI and U.S. Marshals Service (USMS).
Authorities learned that Gregg returned to Corpus Christi while the couple and the children entered Mexico and stayed at a residence close to the Alvarez-Benavente family. Through a collaborative effort between the U.S. and Mexican authorities, the couple and the children were brought to the U.S. Dec. 16, 2015, at which time Gregg-Warren and Alvarez-Benavente were arrested.
Senior U.S. District Judge Hayden Head accepted the pleas and has set sentencing for Oct. 6, 2016. Both sisters face up to life in federal prison and a possible $250,000 maximum fine. Alvarez-Benavente faces up to 15 years and a possible $125,000 fine.
All three have been and will remain in custody pending their sentencing hearing.
The charges are the result of the investigative efforts of the FBI, CCPD and the USMS. Assistant U.S. Attorney Hugo R. Martinez is prosecuting the case.