SALT LAKE CITY — Four people face life in prison after they allegedly kidnapped a teenage boy and held him for ransom because his mother owed money for heroin that was taken by police.
According to a press release made by Melodie Rydalch with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Juan Carlos Moreno Trinidad, 41, Nadia Carolina Avalos, 33, and Issa Jassim Al-Sadoon, 26, were charged with conspiracy to distribute heroin, kidnapping, extortion, and use or carrying of a firearm in furtherance of narcotics trafficking.
One additional suspect, Oscar Rene Chacon Lopez, 26, a Honduran citizen living in Mexico, was also charged in the case. It was unclear if Chacon Lopez had been arrested by authorities.
The press release stated that the three traveled from Phoenix to Salt Lake City on Aug. 13, and kidnapped a 17-year-old boy at gunpoint because his mother owed $20,000 for heroin that was seized while she was transporting it from Minneapolis to Salt Lake City.
Court documents allege that “the victim believed if he did not go with them his mother would likely be hurt.”
The documents also indicated that the trio threatened to kill or harm the boy if his mother didn’t pay the ransom.
“The maximum potential for the heroin conspiracy charge is life in prison with a 10-year mandatory minimum sentence,” the press release said. “The potential penalty for brandishing a firearm during a drug trafficking offense is 7 years in prison. Kidnapping carries a potential life sentence with a 20-year mandatory minimum sentence. The Hobbs Act extortion count and the conspiracy to commit money laundering both have potential 20-year sentences.”