Sometimes, life gets complicated.
Four people reportedly abducted a 27-year-old at gunpoint on Aug. 30 from Christal’s, an adult store in Lakewood, according to Metro Denver Crime Stoppers. One of the men was armed with an AK-47-style rifle. All of them were dressed in black. They bound the man’s wrist, took him outside, forced him into a red sedan and fired one shot, police reported.
But, really, it goes so much deeper.
One suspect told investigators that this was the end of years of planning, and that the victim’s father was involved in a “major conflict regarding the horse industry,” Anastasiya Bolton reports for 9 News.
Horses were a “universal theme,” among the men, police said at a press conference, but they haven’t described any potential motive.
The four suspects reportedly held the victim for four days of negotiations, originally demanding half a million dollars and eventually getting $200,000.
How were the suspects arrested?
Well, it didn’t help that one suspect used a phone during the crime. That phone number was linked to his Facebook account, Bolton reports.
The victim’s family paid the ransom and got him released on Saturday morning, according to police. A law-enforcement agent delivered the money, according to police.
The victim reportedly was physically assaulted during his captivity. At least some of the ransom money has been recovered, according to police.
Law enforcement busted the suspects at different locations on Monday. The FBI and multiple local law agencies, including “hundreds” of officers, were involved, according to Interim Chief Dan McCasky of the Lakewood Police Department. Agencies involved also included Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.
SWAT teams were deployed.
When the authorities made the arrests, they reportedly found:
- An AK-47 and an “assault rifle”
- One grenade
- A military-style combat vest
- Drum magazines (aka ammo-holding attachments for guns)
- And at least $60,000 in cash
Three suspects have been arrested, and authorities apparently are seeking a fourth man.
The fourth suspect is Macro Cota-Tamaura, described as a Hispanic male between 5′ 7″ and 5′ 9″, about 210 pounds, with brown hair, brown eyes and tattoos.
He may be armed and dangerous, with known ties to Texas, Nevada and Mexico. Anyone with information can anonymously call Crime Stoppers at 720-913-7867.
The suspects face the possibility of life without parole if convicted. Those arrested so far are:
- Jonatan Maldanado-Salgado, 19
- Raymundo Maldanado-Salgado, 22
- Hernando Aguilar-Banuelos, 30