On the afternoon of Monday, September 14, José Isabel Flores Romero, an alleged criminal operator of the Jalisco Nueva Generación Cartel, dedicated to drug trafficking, was linked to the process for the kidnapping of a farmer from Rosarito. The judge gave the Public Ministry a period of 6 months for the complementary investigation.
Earlier in a press conference, on the same Monday the 14th , the Central Prosecutor, Hiram Sánchez Zamora, reported on the arrest José Isabel Flores Romero-, as the leader of a gang of kidnappers that operates in Playas de Rosarito and gave details about the modus operandi of the “virtual kidnapping” of an 18-year-old girl in Mexicali, during the weekend
He explained that on September 4, three subjects, led by José Isabel, entered the farmer's house with firearms, threatened him and took him from his home, and then took him to a mountainous area near Bulevar 2000, where they kept him for 10 days.
The central prosecutor explained that two of the captors stayed with the kidnapped while the leader was in another home asking for the ransom of the day laborer's family.
The family requested the support of the Anti-Kidnapping Unit, which managed to release the detainee without any serious injuries. However, a million pesos was paid in ransom, and not the 500 thousand dollars that the criminals demanded for their ransom.
After recovering the victim, he added that the Prosecutor's Office carried out various intelligence work procedures, where after a search of a home Flores Romero was arrested, whom they found with two 9-millimeter pistols, marijuana and synthetic drugs.
The kidnapper was placed at the disposal of the drug dealing area, in addition to an arrest warrant for the crime of aggravated kidnapping and for which the other two implicated have already been identified.
Hiram Sánchez added that this group is being investigated for the disappearance of the retired firefighter from Los Angeles, California, whose trace was lost in Playas de Rosarito three weeks ago, when he entered through Tijuana to go to one of his properties in that municipality.
According to criminal reports, Flores Romero had already been captured for the crime of kidnapping in May 2010. 10 years ago, at a press conference, the Tijuana deputy attorney general's office presented him as the criminal leader of 11 detainees, all related to the kidnapping of at least 100 migrants, in a span of 18 months.
The then deputy prosecutor Fermín Gómez reported that 4 members of the criminal cell were still free, that they had rescued 17 migrants, and secured three pistols and a rifle, three of which had been used in various crimes, including a homicide.
Fifth virtual kidnapping in BC, committed in Mexicali
Threatened by extortionists, on the night of September 13, 18-year-old Ivana Escupio left the Hispanoamericano hospital, the criminals held her incommunicado, virtually kidnapped her, and asked her father for 300,000 pesos to free her.
First, the criminals ordered her to buy a cell phone in a nearby self-service store - and turn off her personal phone - and then they told her that the hospital employees would be the victim of an armed attack, and they sent her to the clinic 30 of the Mexican Institute of the Social Security (IMSS).
At 9:30 p.m. on Sunday, the young woman left the medical center located on Reforma Avenue and B street in the downtown area of Mexicali, with her life threatened, she received telephone instructions from the criminals to register in a hotel and not communicate with his family, while his father received the call to demand his ransom.
The young woman's father reported the incident to the authorities and the Anti-Kidnapping Group of the State Investigation Agency (AEI) immediately began the investigation, who classified the crime as a virtual kidnapping and searched for several hours in hotels and motels.
At 7 in the morning, it was Ivana who decided to leave the IMSS and request support from a Municipal Police unit that was passing through the area, which was already alert to the search. Before paying the 300 thousand pesos, the young woman safe and sound -but in a state of shock-, was transferred to a hospital to receive medical attention.
Faced with this problem, the central state prosecutor, Hiram Sánchez Zamora, reported that the Mexicali regional prosecutor, Pedro Mendivil, has met with medical clusters to try to establish mechanisms to prevent these events from occurring. So far this year, the FGE has documented a total of 5 cases of telephone extortion in the category of “virtual kidnapping”.
And he concluded by recalling that the majority of criminals who operate with the modality of "virtual kidnapping" are outside the territory of Baja California making this type of call.