Pharr Man Sentenced to 20 Years for Holding Victims Hostage
MCALLEN – A Pharr man will spend the next 20 years in federal prison for taking two Honduran nationals hostage.
Federal prosecutors said 32-year-old Jesus Manuel Ramirez held the victims for ransom.
The victims told federal Judge Randy Crane that Ramirez and other men threatened them and beat them because their families had not paid their smuggling fees.
According to their testimony, one of the kidnappers made several phone calls to family members and told them if the money was not paid, they were going to beat or kill both men.
When the families missed their deadline, the men called the victim’s families and then tied them up and beat them while the families listened over the phone.
The call was recorded by a family member and used as evidence.
Eventually, one of the men escaped and was able to call his brother, who then got help from federal agents.
Agents later raided the apartment and freed the second victim.
Ramirez was arrested last August while crossing into the U.S. from Mexico.