4 men accused of holding Lakewood man for ransom indicted by grand jury
GOLDEN, Colo. — Four men accused of kidnapping a man in Lakewood and holding him for ransom have been indicted by a federal grand jury, officials announced Wednesday.
The Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office announced that charges were filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the suspects were transferred to federal custody.
The men were originally facing 19 counts, including first-degree kidnapping, robbery, extortion, theft and assault.
The four suspects — Raymundo Maldonado-Salgado, Jonatan Maldonado-Salgado, Hernando Aguilar-Banuelos and Marco Cota-Tamaura — are accused of kidnapping 27-year-old Andrew Flores-Paredes.
The bizarre case spanned several days, and involved more than 100 local and federal law enforcement officers in locations from Lakewood to Commerce City, Brighton and Fort Lupton.
Flores-Paredes was inside an adult store at 6401 W. Alameda Ave. in Lakewood in on Aug. 30, when four men wearing masks stormed the store with guns, including an AK-47-style rifle with a barrel drum-style magazine, police said.
One of the suspects tied up Flores-Paredes’ wrists with a belt and all five left the store.
Later that night, Flores-Paredes’ father, Andres Flores-Zapata, received a call asking for $500,000. When he said he didn’t have that much money, the call ended. More calls were made and the ransom amount was lowered each time.
A $200,000 ransom was placed in a black trash bag along Interstate 70 near Bennett a few days later, but the kidnappers could not find it, according to court documents.
According to court documents, a new plan was developed to drop the money in front of Flores-Paredes’ family’s ranch in Commerce City. When the money was retrieved on Sept. 3, Flores-Paredes was released mostly unharmed.
RELATED: Court documents
Investigators used cellphone records, surveillance and DNA to track down the suspected kidnappers. They believe the kidnapping stemmed from a family feud over the horse-breeding industry.
“An elite team from the Lakewood Police Department, the FBI, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, and the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office worked tirelessly to solve this case and rescue the victim,” acting U.S. Attorney Bob Troyer said in a statement.
The date and time when the defendants will appear in U.S. District Court in Denver has not been determined.
All four defendants face one count of conspiracy to kidnap and one count of kidnapping. Both counts carry a possible penalty of life in federal prison, prosecutors said.
All but Marco Cota-Tamaura also face one count of receipt of ransom money, which carries a penalty of not more than 10 years in prison.
Raymundo Maldonado-Salgado also faces one count of unlawful re-entry in the United States, which carries a penalty of not more than two years in federal prison.
All four suspects also face hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines.
The indictment, returned by the grand jury on Sept. 27, was sealed until the court recently granted a motion to unseal.