SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Two men who admitted their roles in the kidnapping of a man from a Chula Vista home four years ago were expected to learn their fates Friday.
Christian Rojas and Ricardo Lopez Puentes were scheduled to be sentenced Friday morning at the downtown San Diego courthouse in connection with the kidnapping of Mario Leyva on May 14, 2007. Leyva was taken to Mexico, where he was beaten and held for ransom for six months.
During an earlier court proceeding, Deputy District Attorney James Fontaine said Leyva participated in a drug deal at a residence in the Eastlake neighborhood of Chula Vista just prior to the kidnapping. During his six months in captivity, he was held by a drug cartel, believed to be the Arellano-Felix cartel or an offshoot of that group, according to authorities.
The kidnappers initially placed a call to Leyva's brother and demanded $65,000 in ransom, then upped the demand the next day to $500,000, Fontaine said.
In November 2007, the kidnappers decided to release Leyva as long as he worked for the cartel, but he went to a hospital instead and contacted law enforcement, Fontaine said.
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