Friday, February 19, 2010

Abducted in El Paso, Executed in Juarez

The Associated Press

Sergio Saucedo

El Paso, TX - Authorities filed aggravated kidnapping charges against four men in the abduction of a Horizon City man who was later found slain in Juárez with his arms chopped off.

Investigators haven't determined whether Sergio Saucedo was killed in the U.S. or Mexico, and they could bring further charges once they do.

Brothers Omar and Cesar Obregon, both 21-year-old illegal immigrants from Mexico, were arrested Wednesday by U.S. Border Patrol agents who spotted them trying to break into a house, El Paso County Sheriff's Cmdr. Paul Cross said Thursday. They were being held at the El Paso County jail on $250,000 bond each, Cross said.

Authorities are seeking the other two suspects - 26-year-old Rafael Vega and Ricardo Puentes Morales, whose age was unavailable. Both are U.S. citizens.

Vega and Puentes are affiliated with a Mexican cartel, but the Obregons are not, Cross said.

Sheriff's investigators said they didn't know if any of the men had retained attorneys, and jail and court records showed none.

Investigators believe Puentes masterminded the brazen September abduction of Saucedo from his home in Horizon City, near El Paso.

"We know it had something to do with the drug trade," Cross said, though he would not say which Mexican drug cartel is thought to have carried out the abduction and killing. "They were on a mission to do something."

Investigators said Saucedo's wife watched three armed men drag her husband out of the house and

shove him into a sport utility vehicle. Students on a packed bus also witnessed the abduction.

Saucedo's body was found days later in Ciudad Juárez. His arms had been chopped off and set on his chest.

Saucedo, 30, had a long criminal record, including convictions for drug possession and money laundering.

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