LOS ANGELES - A San Fernando Valley woman and five men were sentenced last Friday to state prison for their involvement in a kidnap-for-ransom case, the district attorney's office announced.The case stems from June 2008, when the victim facilitated a drug deal between two groups of people. The deal went bad when one group claimed it had been scammed. A kidnap-for-ransom was ordered for the brother of the victim who arranged the meeting. The victim paid $20,000 for the release of his brother, who was returned to his family unharmed. The kidnapping was never reported to police. Two weeks after the first kidnapping, the man who facilitated the drug deal was kidnapped and beaten. Ransom was again solicited from the family. SWAT officers from the LAPD ultimately raided a house and rescued the victim. Among those sentenced last week were Eddie Alvariez, 27, who received 28 years in prison; Ronald Ruiz, 23, 25 years; Ritchie Palomo and Erik Viveros, both 21, 18 years each; Oscar Andia, 18, 15 years; and Annette Gutierrez, 39, eight years. Another defendant, Ernesto Romero, 27, was sentenced in October to 29 years in prison. Victor Torres, 21, the sole defendant to go to trial, will be sentenced Jan. 14 after he was convicted Sept. 24 of one count of kidnapping. Jurors deadlocked 11-to-1 on one count of attempted murder.
********** Published: November 18, 2010 - Volume 9 - Issue 31