Police: 2 victims rescued; 6 kidnappers arrested

Naxiely Lopez and Ildefonso Ortiz
The Monitor
November 17, 2011 9:14 PM

SAN JUAN — Authorities continue to investigate the kidnapping of two illegal immigrants who were reportedly held under threat of decapitation if their families didn’t pay ransom.

San Juan police investigators working alongside county, state and federal agencies were able to rescue two kidnapping victims Wednesday night in McAllen and arrested four men and two women.

San Juan police Chief Juan Gonzalez said the victims — a man and a woman in their 20s — had been crossed from Mexico approximately three weeks ago and were being held at various houses while the suspects demanded ransom from their family. The woman was 38 weeks pregnant when she crossed and recently gave birth.

The case was originally referred to San Juan police Wednesday evening by Pharr authorities after one of their off-duty officers, working as a security guard at an undisclosed place, was approached by one of the victims.

San Juan investigators worked alongside FBI agents, U.S. Marshals, Texas Rangers, Hidalgo County sheriff’s deputies and McAllen police to locate and rescue the immigrants. Investigators traced the victims to the 2000 block of W. Ebony St. in McAllen, where they rescued the victims and arrested a group of suspects. Two of the suspects, however, made their way to the attic, where they barricaded themselves.

“A less lethal device known as pepper balls were used,