Woman Kidnaps Self, Son to Collect from Ex

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Miami, FL—A woman, her boyfriend and his nephew were charged this week with federal kidnapping counts. Yet FBI officials say that the victims of the kidnapping were the woman herself and her son—the scheme was concocted to bilk her ex-husband out of money.

Alejandra Arriaza and her boyfriend, Angel Ponce, recently learned that Arriaza’s ex-husband had received a windfall from selling his business, and was keeping cash in his home. After deciding on a plan, Arriaza took her teenage son to Walmart, ostensibly to purchase him an Apple iPhone. Upon exiting the store, a masked man held the family at gunpoint, obscured the son’s vision with thick tape, and forced the mother to drive to a mobile home to meet an accomplice.

The boy was then bound with shrink wrap and more tape, and sequestered in a closet for the night. The kidnappers began making phone calls to the boy’s father the next day. The father contacted authorities and the calls were recorded.

The 17-year-old, say authorities, informed his kidnappers that his father had about $50,000 in savings.

In later telephone calls, the kidnappers held a blowtorch to the boy’s legs, eventually burning some of the hairs from his legs, while also holding a phone nearby so that the father could hear the noise of the blowtorch. This was meant to convey the seriousness of their demands, as were pleas by Arriaza, begging her ex-husband to pay the demanded ransom.

He made arrangements to do so, under the tutelage of federal agents. But before the payment was made, law enforcement officials conducted a raid on the mobile home where the boy was being held. The boy was rescued, and thereafter identified Angel Ponce—his mother’s boyfriend—as one of his captors.

Police searched the mobile home, and discovered items used to conduct the phony kidnapping, including the blowtorch, rolls of tape, several cell phones, and a fake gun.

Arriaza admitted to her role in the kidnapping plot, but said that her son had no culpability and was innocent of the entire scheme. Angel Ponce and his nephew, Joel Boza, who were charged along with Arraiza, have also admitted their guilt. If convicted, they could each face a life term in prison.

 

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