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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of North Carolina

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, January 9, 2020

Federal Complaint Charges Honduran National With Kidnapping

The Defendant Was Previously Convicted of an Immigration Violation

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – U.S. Attorney Andrew Murray announced today that Luis Analberto Pineda-Anchecta, 37, a Honduran national, has been charged with kidnapping via a federal criminal complaint filed in federal court in Charlotte. 

Ronnie Martinez, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Charlotte, and Chief Kerr Putney of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD), join U.S. Attorney Murray in making today’s announcement.

According to allegations contained in the criminal complaint, on or about May 15, 2019, CMPD officers arrested Pineda-Anchecta on several state charges, including Assault on a Female and Communicating Threats against his ex-girlfriend, identified in court documents as F.M. Two days following his arrest, the complaint alleges that Pineda-Anchecta was released from state custody on bond.

As alleged in the criminal complaint, in the evening of May 21, 2019, F.M. was approached by two masked men as she was walking to her vehicle parked at her apartment complex in Charlotte.  The victim recognized one of the masked men as the defendant, who allegedly proceeded to grab the victim by the arm, stuff a cloth in her mouth, and then wrap a cord or rope around her head so the cloth would stay in place.  The complaint alleges that Pineda-Anchecta and the other masked man then forced F.M. against her will into the passenger seat of a vehicle. As alleged in the complaint, Pineda-Anchecta then told F.M. “I love you and I’m going to kill you.” The complaint alleges that the other masked individual did not accompany Pineda-Anchecta and F.M. in the vehicle.  

According to allegations in the criminal complaint, Pineda-Anchecta drove his vehicle on Lancaster Highway. While Pineda-Anchecta was driving, the complaint alleges that he maintained a tight grip on the plastic rope tied around the victim’s face.  According to the complaint, after traveling a short while on Lancaster Highway, Pineda-Anchecta parked his vehicle on the side of the road near a wooden area and turned off the vehicle’s engine.  Pineda-Anchecta maintained his grip on the plastic rope around F.M.’s face, and allegedly pulled the victim out of the car and dragged her toward the wooded area near the road. 

The complaint alleges that, following a struggle between Pineda-Anchecta and F.M., the victim was able to escape and run into the middle of the highway, and was assisted by motorists who stopped to offer help.  According to allegations in the complaint, the victim identified Pineda-Anchecta as the person who had assaulted her.  

The complaint further alleges that Pineda-Anchecta left the scene on foot. After obtaining a search warrant, CMPD officers searched Pineda-Anchecta’s vehicle, from which they recovered a spool of plastic rope similar to the rope wrapped around the victim’s face during the course of the kidnapping. Law enforcement also located the victim’s phone in Pineda-Anchecta’s vehicle.

Pineda-Anchecta is currently in federal custody.  He was previously convicted of illegal reentry by a deported alien, and, on January 7, 2020, he was sentenced to seven months in prison.  Pineda-Anchecta will appear in federal court on the new federal charges on Friday, January 10, 2020. The kidnapping charge carries a maximum term of life in prison.

The charges contained in the complaint are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt in a court of law.

In making today’s announcement U.S. Attorney Murray commended ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations and CMPD for their investigation of this case. He also thanked ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations for their assistance.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kenneth Smith is in charge of the prosecution.

Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Updated January 9, 2020