Tuesday, May 19, 2020

3 Southern California men abducted, 2 killed, in cross-border kidnappings

Chivis Martinez Borderland Beat   Source  TY Borderland Beat Follower


LOS ANGELES — They lived in Norwalk, Pasadena and San Diego, but they all disappeared in Tijuana, Mexico.

Their families got a call demanding money. And in one case, even though the man’s family left $25,000 in cash in a McDonald’s restroom as directed, he was killed anyway, according to court documents implicating a couple, Leslie Briana Matla and Juan Carlos Montoya Sanchez, in a Tijuana-based kidnapping ring.

Matla, 20, and Montoya Sanchez, 25, were charged in Los Angeles federal court with conspiring to launder money. Matla, who lived in San Bernardino County before moving to Mexico, was arrested last week in San Diego. Montoya Sanchez, a resident of Tijuana, was arrested in San Diego on Sunday. It was unclear Monday if either had retained an attorney.

In an affidavit unsealed Monday, FBI Special Agent Cara A. Sammartino detailed the couple’s alleged involvement in three kidnappings committed in the span of a month.

On March 27, the wife of Salvador Acosta Medina, a U.S. citizen who lived in San Diego, reported him missing. Using her husband’s iCloud account, she had found his most recent location: the Hotel Aqua in the Canón del Padre neighborhood of Tijuana, Sammartino wrote in the affidavit.



The day after he was reported missing, Medina called his son and asked him to pay $25,000 to secure his release. At the direction of his father’s abductors, the son gathered the money and left it in a bag in the women’s restroom at a McDonald’s in San Ysidro, the affidavit said. The restaurant is a short walk from the port of entry to Tijuana.

Six minutes after Medina’s son dropped the money, Matla left the restroom wearing a backpack and returned to Mexico on foot, Sammartino wrote, citing closed-circuit television footage.

The next day, Medina’s son received a Whatsapp message from his father’s account, saying he would be released that day, according to the affidavit. Instead, Mexican authorities found his body in Tijuana and Medina’s family identified his remains two days later, Sammartino wrote.

Two weeks later, the sister of Edgar Esteban Guzman reported his kidnapping to the FBI.

Guzman, who lived in Norwalk, was visiting family in Tijuana when he got a phone call, a relative told agents. Once he hung up, Guzman said he’d be gone for a few hours but would be back in time for dinner, Sammartino wrote in the affidavit. He wasn’t.

The next day, Guzman called his mother: He was “in trouble,” he told her, and she needed to ask his boss to pay $25,000 to get him out of it, Sammartino wrote. The next morning, his mother got a Facebook message from Guzman’s account — a picture of his beaten face, the affidavit said. She negotiated the ransom down to $1,000 and her son’s Chevrolet Camaro, Sammartino wrote.

Guzman told his mother to hand over the ransom in the parking lot of a Lowe’s restaurant in Norwalk. A woman — a “pregnant lady” — would be waiting there, he said, according to the affidavit. For reasons left unexplained in the affidavit, the ransom was never delivered. Mexican authorities found Guzman’s body the following day.

His sister used the family computer to access Guzman’s Google account. His final location, in the early morning hours of the day he was found dead, was the Hotel Aqua in Tijuana, Sammartino wrote. In Guzman’s Gmail account, his sister found a receipt for a Western Union wire transfer: $400 sent to a “Juan Carlos Montoya Sanchez,” the affidavit said.

One week later, a taco shop proprietor drove with a friend to the home of an acquaintance, Oscar Bautista Valencia, who had offered to sell him canned goods at a discount, the affidavit said. Due to restrictions from the coronavirus outbreak, his restaurant was low on supplies, the taquero told the FBI. He is identified in the affidavit only by his initials.

When he backed into Valencia’s garage, a man slammed the door shut and a woman came down the stairs, pointing a gun, he told the FBI. Two men beat, bound and blindfolded him and his companion, he said.

At his kidnappers’ direction, the taquero called the mother of his children, who lived in Pasadena, and said he’d killed a family of four while driving drunk and needed to pay $20,000. He said he loved her and their children.

“He was saying goodbye,” he later told the FBI, because he had seen his abductors’ faces and knew they “were going to kill him no matter if a ransom was paid or not.”

She whittled down the ransom payment to $14,000, the affidavit said, and the kidnappers told her to deliver the money that night to a pregnant woman at a Food 4 Less store in Lynwood. In the end, she didn’t hand over the money or go to the drop site, the affidavit said. She didn’t need to.

Twenty minutes before the scheduled drop, a Mexican anti-kidnapping squad notified the FBI they had raided the Hotel Aqua in Tijuana, arrested nine suspected abductors and freed the taquero. A week later, a magistrate judge in Los Angeles authorized warrants for the arrest of Matla and Montoya Sanchez.

“All three incidents appear to be linked based on a common modus operandi, to include common locations used, common phone numbers used to place calls and similar ransom demands,” Sammartino wrote.

61 comments:

  1. Im thinking I’m gonna kidnap a Mexican and hold them for ransom.... joke.... has a Mexican ever been held for ransom by an American???

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    Replies
    1. Evil exists in all shapes and colors my friend. Try to get out a little more. The astute can easily make that observation. Expand that brain you were given. Put yourself in various positions and explore the possible outcomes. Knowledge is power my guy.

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    2. Researching and looking at the numbers prove otherwise in this case guey

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  2. So sorry for those who lost their loved ones.
    Thank God the US authorities were pushing the investigation. This also shows the Mexican authorities can solve crimes when they decide to.

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  3. If I had a Tía named Juana, I wouldn't trust her. You shouldn't either.

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  4. my question was whether the men were involved in one thing or another, I would say 100% they were targeted, but maybe not for that reason, though feels likely. Lynwood is a major spot, I don't know the other CA town.

    25k isn't an incomprehensible sum, in the least, to come up with in 24 hours, but the odds of snatching a stranger off the street, and having their family

    A) get the cash within 25 hours

    B)not contact the authorities

    is probably low. Is there a link to the complaint? All federal cases care being done by complaint, so as to limit grand juries being convened, if at all.

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    1. It said it in the article it was a kidnapping ring..with Montoya and the female doing most of the work, nevertheless they had legal documents to enter San Diego to get the money at McDonald's.

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    2. Right, but how, and why were the targets selected? Not random, from what I understand.

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    3. How is any target ever selected?Kidnappers live off of this, there's obviously an MO to finding potential victims, vetting them and their families, minimizing risk of authorities being contacted and so on. It doesn't sound insane to me that a kidnapper can locate a taquería that's doing well, locate the owner, dig here and there about family and so on (a single mother is probably easier to intimidate than a large family with many different opinions and tempers within). So.... yeah, people who are involved in shady shit tend to get abducted more than people who aren't. Most kidnappings done for ransom involve people who aren't involved though, because assuming equal capacity to pay ransom, people involved in crime are always more dangerous and resourceful in the crime world.

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    4. No to you other fools. I agree with J. By observation of course. Serious hot spots. These dudes weren’t chosen at random. Dead giveaway the dude that said he’s in a pickle. And the latter that said to not pay he’s gonna get killed regardless. Why are the docs sealed? I wanna know more... hopefully this unfolds to the public eventually. Something isn’t right

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    5. I actually live in Lynwood and very close to the Food 4 Less. A lot of shady ppl just out there in the parking lot looking for an opportunity

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  5. In the shithole of Mexico, this is a daily occurrence.. Try that shit with American citizens and FBI will have you indicted in fed court following day.. I pray they do entirety of their time in solitary

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  6. Chivis and staff how often do these cross border secuestros occur?

    I'm shocked by this story but maybe I'm just unaware.

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  7. Kidnappers should get the death penalty, period.

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    1. Mr unknowns I regret to inform, that unfortunately Mexican government does not believe in the death penalty, but there is good news, the Corona virus better known as the Deathly Viper virus, will get them in prison. Have a great day.

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    2. Where the hell is it called the deathly Viper virus? Lol, this is the first time I have ever heard that.

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    3. Just watch soon a cartel will come out with it's name The Deathly Viper Cartel.

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  8. Hotel Aqua is one of those love hotels

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    Replies
    1. Where they love to disappear you after duping your family into pay their life-savings in ransom after you've been killed. Place got a 3 star review.

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  9. Pinchis lacras, hope life in the feds, was worth that petty ass cash.

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  10. Nathan LitdownerMay 19, 2020 at 10:42 PM

    What the fuck? You can just go to TJ and get randomly kidnapped if you have bad enough luck, and worst off even if your ransom does get paid you still get killed? What is the safest border city/town? I want to visit Mexico before I hit 30 but I am terrified. I legitimately feel like the moment I step foot in Mexico I will have to keep my eyes completely peeled, be completely aware of my surroundings and trust no one. My parents took me to visit their old hometown in Zacatecas twice when I was a child by van coming from California though Texas. Jesus Christ..

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    1. It's not that bad. I really think victims new them.

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    2. Cd Acuña or Juarez

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    3. Zac, is getting bad too, no where is safe, police or government could care a rats azz, they are in cullusion with the criminals that pay bribes.

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    4. Dont travel at night say please excuse me and im sorry .Dont dress flashy dont eye fuck anyone and mind your p's and q's and no matter how much the cops want you to pay you can always talk em down to 40 bucks always.

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  11. the Americans dont mess around those kidnappers are going to be locked up so long they'll want to commit suicide

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  12. The scary thing is lack of comments, people only want to talk about is Chino's death

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    1. 11:49 So far in this article people are commenting regarding the article, until you came crying. What a Willis.

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    2. Chino antrax was the shit. Hell always be an interesting read. At the end his full fledged loyalty just like any other employer doesnt mean sheeet.. Kick in the ass and on to the next person willing to make a name for themselves for less pay.

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  13. Sad story but with a somewhat happy ending.

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  14. Chivis I keep telling people not to go across the border, but they chose to be knuckleheads. More homes in tijuana are having, thier rooms outfitted with cages made out of rebar, not for animals but for kidnapped human beings.

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    1. Just curious. How do you know about this happening? That sounds crazy and very scary.

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  15. Al menos se escapó el taquero de que lo hicieran carnitas.
    Y fierro a los secuestradores.
    Former BC governor Kiko Vega de la madrid got his house invaded by mexican lawmen who found millions amd millions of dollars cash in the premises.

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  16. excellent read. thank you Chivis

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  17. Something fishy with this story. Something is off.

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    1. Re-read and there will be no fishes lol.

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    2. Un fish the fish, read again if you no comprende.

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  18. I am glad the FBI did there job. Last we need is cross border kidnapping. Chivis had you not mentioned this article, most of us would have been blind to what is happening in Tijuana everyday violence and kidnappings.
    El Perin de Tamp.

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  19. Tijuana once was a thriving town, where people living in California, would stroll over to enjoy Rosarito, downtown TJ listen to ranchera music, get dental work, fast track 10 years later,
    criminals and curupted police rule the city now.

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    Replies
    1. Bro people from the US continue to do all these leisure activities you mention or ar least they were before Corona

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    2. To many out of state low lifes moved in to Tijuana the last 20 years causing all these tranzas to operate their criminal activity am

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  20. Damn that one guys wife never took the camero or the grand, she probably said fuck it il find a new garrote in these trashy so cal streets.

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    1. She got popped the day after giving birth to a baby girl.

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  21. Two years ago a friends brother got deported to Tijuana due to getting his 2nd DUI in CA. He wanted to come back, asked for a coyote (smuggler), he was taken to a home, they wanted $5,000, kidnappers tied him and beat him, later they wanted more, but ended up killing him anyway. Easy to get away with murder in Mexico, glad they caught this group killing American citizens.
    Steve T. Of Los Angeles

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  22. Lynnwood and San Bernardino are sanctuary cities, that's how those criminal entities can operate so freely.

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    1. Oh brother, there we go..bring in the Sanctuary City card again. Furthermore they were arrested, aren't you happy with that?

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    2. 8:23 aren't you the crabby old man, that is never happy. If they put video cameras on your street, then you complain big brother is watching you, get over it be happy.

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    3. Sanctuary cities are to criminals what flames are to moths. Both are attracted to the same. Texas has good public policy: prosecute and deport. Should be a no-brainer, but California has a special affinity for illegal immigrant criminals.

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    4. @4:02 how on earth are u gonna compare the two. Property value and taxes are sooo diff in each state. California runs the US economy. Without California, the US would be crap. Immigrants run the working class. We generate the money. Not the billionaires. They thrive off the sweat of our brows and just take the credit. Texas should never be compared to the legal system here in CA

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    5. California is a punk sissy compared to Texas... California can fall into the Pacifico... the only thing missed would be the redwoods...

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  23. So, what’s the moral of the story here?
    If you are were lucky enough to get to America, don’t ever go back into Mexico?
    Okay, deal!

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  24. Any city in CA you will label them as bad hombres. I agree with you on that, but labeling the70%, that contribute to working hard, paying taxes making a better life, since thier own country can't supply that, it's totally outlandish in your part, maybe you are a crabby old manike 823 mentions.

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  25. Taqueros like to roll like ballers, they have cash and so do their primos who are also Taqueros. These scumbag kidnappers only need to see these taqueros social media accounts to mark them. They must've had aduana help to enter Mexico with victims.

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  26. I talked to Montoyas brother today, after finding his IG page. Leslie and “Karlos” are just low level street kids trying to make a buck or two.

    If you follow the gals picture, she was in fact pregnant. Delivered the baby on the 13th than the FEDS grabbed her on the 14th. Sad all around.

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    1. No sympathy for the devils they are.

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    2. Yep he did not kill none of the kidnappers, it was the devil, they have incriminating evidence, guaranteed they will serve time in prison. Yep they are truly innocent.

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    3. I live across the street and saw the montoyas kidnapping people.

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    4. At least the government had the foresight to let her domino before arresting her so that we taxpayers don't have to foot the bill raising that bastarda.

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  27. Christ. What an awful story. I hate hearing about these kidnappers that get the money and kill the victims anyways. Thats awful.

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    1. It's like making you disappear, but they were doing it to American citizens, imagine the Latino ones that they were kidnapping for ransom and then killing them, without local police doing nothing.
      Luna Apagtha

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