KUSA - A 27-year-old man kidnapped from an adult sex store in Lakewood was returned to his family over the weekend after they paid a $200,000 ransom, 9Wants To Know has learned.
Three men have been arrested and are facing charges in connection with the crime that included four days of hostage negotiations, multiple ransom demands starting at $500,000, guns, grenades and a trash bag money drop off. Law enforcement sources tell 9Wants To Know they’re still looking for the fourth alleged kidnapper.
According to investigators, three suspected kidnappers admitted to them their roles in the ordeal, although the statements of one suspect kept changing as he was interviewed.
According to court records, Andrews Flores-Paredes, 27, was shopping at a Lakewood adult store last Tuesday, August 30, when he heard a noise outside. A female witness told investigators the man said, "Oh [expletive] they're coming." Police say Flores-Paredes left the store, only to come back and use the female witness as a shield as four masked men came into the store with guns.
An arrest affidavit for one of the suspects says when the victim was taken on August 30, his father received a call asking for $500,000. The amount of money demanded went down with nearly every call.
Court records indicated the suspects called the victim's father a couple of times a day demanding money.
Based on the court records, the reason for the kidnapping plot involving this particular family is not completely clear. One of the alleged kidnappers, Raymundo Maldonado-Salgado, told investigators his brother Osmar worked on the ranch of the victim's father and was familiar with the family. So Raymundo and his other brother, Jonatan Maldonado-Salgado also knew the family.
Court records say Raymundo told investigators, the victim's father is a member of a family that "had a major conflict regarding the horse industry that led to the kidnapping plot." Raymundo told investigators the kidnapping plan was in place for four to five years.
Raymundo’s brother, who’s also one of the suspects, Jonatan Maldonado-Salgado,19, was identified using the phone number he used during the crime. Police said the same phone number was tied to Maldonado-Salgado's Facebook account. According to investigators, the suspect was also wearing the same distinctive baseball cap in his Facebook photo, as the man seen in surveillance video purchasing at least one of the cell phones used during the kidnapping.
The FBI Denver Division was involved in this case and worked with local law enforcement to bring the kidnapping victim home.
According to the arrest affidavit, the first attempt to drop off the money by the FBI was unsuccessful because the kidnappers couldn't find it on the side of the road near Bennett.
Court documents indicate that after a location change, the suspects picked up the money in the early morning hours of Saturday September 3, shortly after the victim was released and taken to his family.
The victim told investigators he overheard one of the suspects said he came to Colorado from California to "do this job".
"He [no name] talked about doing this kidnapping work often and about having to use eight phones for this job," according to the affidavit.
On Monday September 5, federal agents searched one of the locations associated with the kidnapping and arrested Maldonado-Salgado, and his brother Raymundo Maldonado-Salgado, 22, a short time later.
According to court records, when law enforcement searched the premises of the home where the suspects were arrested, they found an AK-47, an assault rifle, one grenade, a tactical vest, masks, drum magazines and at least $60,000 in cash. More cash was found in other locations as the investigation continued.
Through interviews with the suspects, investigators learned the victim's younger brother was the original subject of the kidnapping plot, but an attempt the week before was unsuccessful. So the kidnappers moved on to the victim himself, watching what he did throughout the day to find a place to kidnap him.
One of the suspects in this case, Hernando Aguilar-Banuelos is accused of repeatedly changing his story with police. He originally denied helping with the plot, because "he is too kind hearted and does not have the stomach for such things."
Aguilar-Banuelos and the Maldonado-Salgado brothers had their first appearance at the Jefferson County Courthouse September 6. They’re facing charges of first degree kidnapping. All are being held without bond.
The fourth suspect, Marco Cota-Tamaura, is still at large. He is described as a Hispanic male who between 5-feet-7 and 5-feet-8 inches tall and about 210 pounds.
Cota-Tamaura has brown eyes, brown hair, and tattoos on the inside of both forearms. He is considered armed and dangerous.
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