CHICAGO, IL — Five men have been arrested on kidnapping charges for allegedly abducting a Berwyn man in broad daylight and holding him for ransom in a North Side auto body shop.
The kidnapping went awry after the abductors realized they had snatched the wrong man, according to a criminal complaint and affidavit filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago. The victim was the brother of the intended target. He was blindfolded and held at gunpoint for nearly two days in an auto body shop in Chicago’s Avondale neighborhood, before being released, the complaint states.
Federal authorities arrested the five defendants yesterday. Charged with conspiracy to commit kidnapping are ANTONIO SALGADO, 34; ARMANDO DELGADO, 36; OCTAVIO ALEJANDRE JR., 33; JAIME GUTIERREZ, 22; and MUNAF ABDULRAZAK MUSA, 22; all of Chicago. The charge carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.
All five defendants were ordered held without bond during initial court appearances yesterday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Susan E. Cox. Musa’s next court appearance is scheduled for Feb. 5, 2016, while the other defendants will next appear on Feb. 8, 2016.
According to the complaint, the abduction occurred on the afternoon of May 30, 2015, when the victim was kidnapped at gunpoint outside of his Berwyn home. The victim was forced into a sport-utility vehicle and taken to the auto repair shop. While being held, one of the kidnappers pushed a gun into the victim’s body and threatened him, while another kidnapper placed a knife on the victim’s fingers and threatened to cut them off, the complaint states.
Early the next morning, the victim’s uncle received telephone calls from an unidentified man who stated he was holding the victim, according to the complaint. The caller demanded approximately 25 kilograms of narcotics. At one point the victim was placed on the phone and instructed to tell his uncle to cooperate, the complaint states.
Unbeknownst to the defendants, several of their phones had previously been intercepted by federal authorities who were conducting an unrelated investigation, the complaint states. In a recorded call between Salgado and Delgado on the night of May 31, 2015, Delgado told Salgado, “There is a little situation. It’s the wrong guy because it’s his brother of the one that we’re trying to get.” According to the complaint, Salgado allegedly replied, “Let the guy go, but beat the [expletive] out of him.”
On the morning of June 1, 2015, the victim appeared at a bus station in Chicago, according to the complaint. The victim told police that he had walked to the bus station after being released from captivity during the night.
The arrest and charges were announced by Zachary T. Fardon, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Michael J. Anderson, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Dennis A. Wichern, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration; Jim Ritz, Chief of the Berwyn Police Department; and John Escalante, Acting Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department.
The public is reminded that a complaint is not evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If convicted, the Court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal statutes and the advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kartik K. Raman.
Source: U.S. Department of Justice