LOS ANGELES – A legal United State resident was convicted of holding two dozen Mexican nationals hostage in order to collect ransom money from their families. The suspect, along with four Mexican nationals not only kidnapped the victims who they promised they would smuggle into the United States but they also threatened, beat, and raped them.
Luis Francisco Murillo Morfin, 33, of National City, was convicted on Wednesday of Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering by U.S. District Judge John F. Walter. The victims reportedly were picked up from Northern Mexico and driven in the trunks of cars. The drivers drove them through a fake border checkpoint and they were eventually taken to a house in Tijuana. The victims were held hostage while relatives paid ransom money to U.S. bank accounts or wiring the ransom money to Mexico. The relatives were threatened with their relatives being beaten, disemboweled, or murdered if they did not pay the ransom.
“The evidence at trial showed that Murillo opened a Wells Fargo bank account in his name on April 30, 2015, and made monthly payments to keep it open, but did not use the account until August 4, 2015 – one day after his co-conspirators kidnapped and held for ransom nine victims,” U.S. Department of Justice officials said. “The extortion victims deposited $62,000 in ransom money into Murillo’s account from bank branches in Ontario, Santa Maria, Northern California, Idaho and Mississippi. Murillo withdrew all $62,000 within less than 48 hours, lying to a Wells Fargo bank employee about the money’s purpose. “ The accounts were closed by Wells Fargo on August 19, 2015, after the accounts were no longer being used.
Murillo will be sentenced to up to 10 years in federal prison on February 4, 2019. Murillo was charged along with four other defendants, all of whom are Mexican nationals believed to be residing in Mexico. The other defendants are: Jesus Antonio Rivera Gaxiola, a.k.a. “The Cook,” Manuel Roman Velazquez, a.k.a. “The Caller,” Alberto Jimenez Bautista, a.k.a. “Jefe,” and Luis Perez Martinez.
For late-breaking news, follow 24/7 Headline News on our Los Angeles County Facebook group, Riverside County Facebook group, Coachella Valley News group, US News group, Victor Valley/Inland Empire Facebook group. If you like what we are doing and want regular updates on your facebook stream like our Facebook Fan Page. You may also follow 24/7 Headline News on Twitter and Instagram!
This article was written by a staff member of the 24/7 Headline News Organization
Latest posts by Staff Writer (see all)
- Authorities Seeking Information About Fatal Hit and Run Collision - Saturday, March 23rd, 2019
- Hemet Couple Arrested for Kidnapping their Son Who Was in Foster Care - Saturday, March 23rd, 2019
- Ex-Boyfriend of Woman Killed in Chino Shopping Center Wanted for Murder - Friday, March 22nd, 2019