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PRESS RELEASES

IIMPACT rescues three kidnapping victims being held for ransom and arrests four suspected human smugglers

Suspected human smugglers face several serious felony charges each

Monday, November 15, 2010 -

Investigators assigned to the Illegal Immigration Apprehension Co-op Team (IIMPACT), with the assistance of Phoenix Police Patrol units, served a search warrant at two apartments located in the same complex at 1618 No. 40th Street, in Phoenix, Arizona, rescuing three adult male kidnapping victims and arresting four suspected human smugglers (two male and two female). One handgun was located at the residence along with several cloth bands and shoe laces used as ligatures to bind and detain the kidnapping victims.

The four suspects were contacted by officers just outside the apartment; all four attempted to flee on foot after being approached. Three were apprehended immediately, while the fourth suspect was captured about one block away. The victims and suspects are believed to be in the country illegally.

The investigation began after family members of one victim, residing in the U.S. called the Phoenix Police Department stating their family member was being held for ransom for $6,000 U.S. dollars and being threatened with death if the ransom was not paid. IIMPACT Investigators located this original victim, along with two other kidnapping victims. The victims were reportedly physically abused by their captors throughout their ordeal; however they were in fair condition when located early this morning. Due to the nature of this case, Phoenix Police called the IIMPACT task force, who then assumed control of the investigation.

The four suspected human smugglers listed below have been arrested, charged, and booked on the following felony charges:

Suspect #1

Julio Cesar Rubio-Contreras, H/M, DOB: 9/28/83

Charges:

1) Three Counts Kidnapping

2) One Count Human Smuggling

3) Three Counts Extortion

4) One Count Participating in a Criminal Enterprise

Suspect #2

Alexis Medina-Cruz, H/M, DOB: 8/27/92

Charges:

1) Three Counts Kidnapping

2) One Count Human Smuggling

3) Three Counts Extortion

4) Three Counts Agg. Assault w/ a weapon

5) One Count Participating in a Criminal Enterprise

Suspect #3

Yenni Cruz-Ibarra, H/F, DOB: 8/22/80

Charges:

1) Three Counts Kidnapping

2) One Count Human Smuggling

3) Three Counts Extortion

4) One Count Participating in a Criminal Enterprise

Suspect #4

Reyna Valdez-Galaviz, H/F, DOB: 10/28/84

Charges:

1) Three Counts Kidnapping

2) One Count Human Smuggling

3) Three Counts Extortion

4) One Count Participating in a Criminal Enterprise

- End -

IIMPACT (Illegal Immigration Prevention & Apprehension Co-op Team) is a multi-agency project managed by GIITEM of the Arizona Department of Public Safety that is designed to “deter, disrupt and dismantle violent criminal organizations profiting from human smuggling.” In most IIMPACT cases, crimes of kidnapping, extortion, assault and human smuggling are prevalent. IIMPACT is comprised of investigators from the Phoenix Police Department, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS).

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