Three people charged for hostage taking of foreign nationals

Three people from Chaparral charged for hostage taking of foreign nationals

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M (STL.News) Ricardo Arce, Vicki Sowell and Jonathan Gonzalez, all of Chaparral, New Mexico, have been charged in federal court with hostage taking.

Arce, 40, of Chaparral, and Sowell, 35, of El Paso, Texas, were arrested on April 28.  Sowell was charged in court and ordered detained on May 5.  Arce was charged in court and ordered detained on May 7.  Both will remain detained pending trial.  Gonzales, 34, of Chaparral, was arrested on May 12 and made a first appearance in court on May 21.  A detention hearing for Gonzalez is scheduled for May 26.

The defendants allegedly participated in an alien smuggling organization that held victims hostage for money and assaulted the victims.

According to a criminal complaint, on April 4 a citizen of the country of Georgia entered the United States from Juarez, Mexico, into El Paso.  The victim later met people who allegedly were a part of an alien smuggling organization and paid them to transport him to New York where his family lives.  They allegedly transported the victim to an unknown location and would not allow him to leave. 

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