By H. Nelson Goodson
May 8, 2014
St. Paul, Minnesota - On Tuesday, Jesus Ramirez, 31, of Los Angeles, CA; Jonatan Delgado Álvarez, 22, of Los Angeles, CA; Juan Ricardo Elenes Villalvazo, a.k.a. Chapo, 32, of St. Paul, MN; and Antonio Navarro a.k.a. Tony Sanchez, 19, of St. Paul, MN. were charged for drug trafficking, kidnapping and torture of 16 and 19-year-old teenagers. Villalvazo remains at large, according to the feds.
Ramirez and Álvarez members of the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) gang from Los Angeles were hired and ordered by the Sinaloa Cartel to go to St. Paul, Minnesota and recover about $200,000 of stolen cash and 30 pounds of methamphetamine that was taken from 914 Palace Ave., a residence in St. Paul.
Navarro from St. Paul had reported to the Sinaloa Cartel that the money and drug was missing. The cartel sent both Ramirez and Álvarez from Los Angeles to recuperate the missing money and cash.
The federal indictment alleges that Ramirez, Alvarez, Villalvazo, and Navarro participated in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. According to the indictment, Navarro and Villalvazo maintained a stash house in St. Paul for storing large amounts of methamphetamine for distribution as part of the conspiracy. Navarro arrived in St. Paul from Glendale, Arizona and was paid $1,000 to watch the stash at the home from the Cartel Sinaloa.
On April 14, 2014, defendants Ramirez and Alvarez flew from Los Angeles, California to Minnesota in response to a report that approximately 30 pounds of methamphetamine had been stolen from the stash house two days earlier. On the evening of April 14, the four defendants kidnapped two victims at gunpoint and held them captive against their will at the stash house. The defendants bound and beat the victims and made violent threats against their lives and the lives of their family members, while demanding information about the missing methamphetamine.
The suspects demanded $300,000 or they would kill the victims and family members. But later released the victims after no information confirmed that they had stolen the drug and money.
According to the indictment, Villalvazo cut one of the victim's fingers, nearly severing it, while Ramirez held the victim down. After determining that the victims had no information about the missing drugs, the defendants released them.
Upon leaving the stash house at approximately 7:30 p.m. on April 15, Navarro was arrested by law enforcement officers, who had surrounded the premises. At approximately 7:40 p.m. that night, Alvarez attempted to leave the stash house and was also arrested by law enforcement officers. In the early morning hours of April 16, Ramirez flew back to Los Angeles from the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. He was arrested the following day at a hotel in a Los Angeles suburb after leading police officers on a high speed car chase.
All four defendants were charged with one count of Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine. In addition, the indictment alleges that Ramirez carried a firearm and used it to kidnap and threaten the victims.
If convicted, all four defendants could face a potential maximum penalty of life in prison for the drug conspiracy charge. Ramirez faces a potential minimum penalty of seven years in prison for the firearm charge. All sentences are ultimately determined by a federal district court judge, according to the federal indictment.