Local News

Dec 17, 2009 12:11 PM by Emily Kiefer

Paso Robles Police help bust immigrant smuggling operation

A kidnapping investigation in Paso Robles leads to arrests in Arizona.

Paso Robles police say on November 30, officers received a call from two female residents who claimed their friends had been kidnapped. During the investigation, officers learned that two weeks prior, two men had paid to be smuggled into the U.S. from Mexico. About a week after their arrival, the two female residents received phone calls from unknown people who claimed they were holding the kidnapping victims and would not release them until money was wired into an account in Mexico.

Later, the two female residents were able to speak to the victims on the phone. The victims confirmed they were being held by armed suspects somewhere in Arizona. They were told by their captors that they would be killed if the money was not wired.

Detectives in Paso Robles tracked the location of where they believed the victims and suspects were to the Tucson, Arizona area. Agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement were also brought in to help. Those agents served search warrants at two separate locations in Tucson on December 1.

The two victims were rescued unharmed. In addition, 14 smuggled, undocumented immigrants were recovered, five suspects were arrested and three firearms were seized.

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