Four suspects arrested in connection with a foiled kidnapping for ransom plot in Los Angeles County were in the country illegally, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials said Tuesday.
Breitbart reports that one of the suspects had been deported three times prior to the alleged kidnapping.
Police rescued the unnamed, 44-year-old kidnapping victim last week. She had been held without food or water for two days by the suspects, authorities said.
Police said the victim was offered a ride home by one of the suspects who was her coworker. Believing the victim had about $110,000 in cash savings, police said 40-year-old Judith Maldonado and her husband, 34-year-old Francisco Inacua decided to keep her prisoner and demand the cash from her family.
32-year-old Rocio Inacua and her common-law husband, 32-year-old Uziel Figueroa, also helped with the plot, police said.
“The suspects believed that she had some financial means," Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Capt. Merrill Ladenheim told ABC-7. “Her and her husband did not have the means … to come up with $110,000.”
The woman’s family reported the ransom demand to police, who were able to rescue the victim before any money changed hands. The victim was put in the care of a local hospital but was later released and is expected to make a full recovery.
All four suspects have entered pleas of not guilty.
The ICE spokesperson who confirmed the suspects were in the country illegally said that the agency “has lodged immigration detainers against all four suspects charged in connection with the kidnapping for ransom incident.”
Three of the suspects, the spokesperson said, have “no prior enforcement encounters with the Department of Homeland Security,” but confirmed that “none of the three has a legal basis to be in the U.S.”
The fourth, Francisco Inacua, was confirmed to have been been deported three times since 1999 and “most recently in February of this year, when he was formally deported based upon a removal order issued by an immigration judge.”
The spokesperson said the formal detainers filed by the agency request that the “sheriff’s department turn the suspects over to ICE if and when they are released from local custody so ICE can pursue possible follow-up immigration enforcement action.”
Photo Source: Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department