Five men were arraigned today in the #1 Magistrate’s Court in connection with the kidnapping of a Mexican diplomat, Domingo Rodriguez Semerena, 50, which occurred around 6:45 p.m. on Tuesday, March 13.
They are Delton Jeffords, 18, an employee of CYDP who resides on Racoon Street Extenison; Noel Alamilla, 25, a supervisor at San Cas who reside at 59 Kelly Street; Roque Middleton, 24, an unemployed of Banak Street; Middleton’s brother, Ralph Middleton, 38, a laborer of Biscayne Village; and Derrick Sanchez, a resident of Ladyville.
Jeffords, Alamilla and Roque Middleton were charged with kidnapping and conspiracy to commit kidnapping.
Chief magistrate Ann Marie Smith did not take a plea from them because the offences are indictable.
Alamilla was also charged with handling stolen goods for a Nokia cellular phone, valued at $200; Roque Middleton was also charged with handling stolen goods for a black 2007 sports utility SUV, valued at $50,000; Ralph Middleton was charged with handling stolen goods for a fuel receipt book; Sanchez was charged with handling stolen goods for the keys to the SUV - all stolen from Semerena.
The prosecutor objected to bail on the grounds that kidnapping is an offence of a serious nature for which the penalty is no less than 10 years, and it can extend to life imprisonment.
He also objected on the grounds that an investigation is still going on, that the prosecution has a strong case, and that if the accused are granted bail, there is a strong possibility that they will interfere with the complainant.
Chief Magistrate Smith upheld the objections and remanded all the accused into custody until April 25.
Semerena reported to the police that he was taking someone in his vehicle to a friend’s house on an unknown street. He said when he arrived at the house, he was approached by two men, one of them armed.
The men forced him into the back seat of his vehicle, then two more men entered his vehicle.
Semerena told police that he was driven to an unknown house, and he was relieved of his gold chain, $150 and his cellular phone.
He said his kidnappers then tied his hands and feet and left him in the house with someone to guard him.
The kidnappers then left in Semerena’s vehicle and when they returned about half an hour later, they drove him to a swampy area on the Northern Highway and left him there.
The police reported that on Wednesday night, they recovered the SUV from Burrell Boom.
On Thursday, March 15, the police recovered Semerena’s cellular phone.
On Friday, March 16, the police recovered the fuel receipt book and the keys to the SUV.
The other items that were stolen have not been recovered.
A fourth person who was involved in the actual kidnapping is still at large.