3 Cartel Associates Sentenced for Kidnapping Women From San Diego Home

3 Cartel Associates Sentenced for Kidnapping Women From San Diego Home

Police sirens flash in a file photo. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

City News Service
City News Service

7/9/2024

Updated: 7/9/2024

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SAN DIEGO—Three people who kidnapped two women from a San Diego home, then threatened and assaulted them on behalf of the Sinaloa Cartel, have been sentenced to lengthy state prison terms, the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office said on July 9.
Prosecutors said that, believing the victims stole drugs from the cartel, the defendants broke into their home in El Cajon in the east county of San Diego, and, at gunpoint, took the women to one of the defendant’s Chula Vista home in the south county.
The women were held for ransom, drugged, threatened with torture, and “brutally assaulted,” the D.A.’s Office said.
Victor Medrano, 44; Eliceo Flores, 36; and Emily Gonzalez, 33, were indicted by a grand jury and pleaded guilty earlier this year to various crimes, including kidnapping.
A fourth defendant, Julie Soto, 32, awaits trial. The D.A.’s Office said Ms. Soto was referred to by one co-defendant as “the big boss” and “the one that takes care of most [of] [San Diego].”
Mr. Medrano and Mr. Flores were sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, and Ms. Gonzalez was sentenced to 24 years and eight months in prison.
According to prosecutors, Ms. Soto, Mr. Medrano, and Mr. Flores were additionally indicted for their alleged roles in “a large-scale drug and gun importation scheme.” The defendants exchanged messages referencing the sales of fentanyl, methamphetamine, and heroin, as well as selling AR-15 assault rifles and unserialized “ghost guns,” according to the indictment.
Mr. Medrano and Mr. Flores were also indicted for conspiracies to commit another kidnapping, robbery, possession of stolen vehicles, and passing more than $10,000 in fraudulent checks, the D.A.’s Office said.
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