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3 sentenced for cartel-related kidnapping of 2 women from El Cajon home

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Posted at 1:57 PM, Jul 09, 2024

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Three people who kidnapped two women from an El Cajon residence, then threatened and assaulted them on behalf of the Sinaloa Cartel, have been sentenced to lengthy state prison terms, the San Diego County District Attorney's Office said Tuesday.

Prosecutors said that, believing the victims stole drugs from the cartel, the defendants broke into their home and, at gunpoint, took the women to one of the defendant's Chula Vista home.

The women were held for ransom, drugged, threatened with torture, and "brutally assaulted," the D.A.'s Office said.

Victor Medrano, 44; Eliceo Flores, 36; and Emily Gonzalez, 33, were indicted by a grand jury and pleaded guilty earlier this year to various crimes, including kidnapping.

A fourth defendant, Julie Soto, 32, awaits trial. The D.A.'s Office said Soto was referred to by one co-defendant as "the big boss" and "the one that takes care of most (of) SD."

Medrano and Flores were sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole and Gonzalez was sentenced to 24 years and eight months in prison.

According to prosecutors, Soto, Medrano, and Flores were additionally indicted for their alleged roles in "a large-scale drug and gun importation scheme." The defendants exchanged messages referencing the sales of fentanyl, methamphetamine and heroin, as well as selling AR-15 assault rifles and unserialized "ghost guns," according to the indictment.

Medrano and Flores were also indicted for conspiracies to commit another kidnapping, robbery, possession of stolen vehicles and passing more than $10,000 in fraudulent checks, the D.A.'s Office said.

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