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El Paso man sentenced to over 21 years in prison in connection to deadly kidnapping


EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- An El Paso man was sentenced Wednesday to 262 months in prison for his part in a deadly 2021 kidnapping, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

21-year-old Armando Leonardo Moreno, also known as 'Cholo,' served as a soldier in a transnational criminal organization (TCO), according to court documents. Those documents indicate that on or around Sept. 13, 2021, Moreno conspired with other TCO members to kidnap the victim from a stash house in El Paso.

The kidnappers allegedly drove the victim somewhere else, dragged him out of the vehicle, and beat him in the front yard of a home, before taking him inside that home and beating him further.

The DOJ said the victim was found dead in Las Cruces on Sept. 16, 2021, with multiple gunshot and stab wounds.

Moreno's codefendants -- Michelle Karen Avila, Ruben Pimentel and Ricardo Matthew Gutierrez -- have already been sentenced. Avila received a 60 month sentence, Pimentel 108 months, and Gutierrez 135 months.

A fourth defendant, Alberto Rodriguez, remains in federal custody as he awaits his scheduled sentencing on May 1.

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Kerry Mannix


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