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Houston men convicted for roles in cartel related kidnapping

Two Houston men have admitted to holding a victim hostage at gunpoint, beating and threatening him with death, announced U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani.

Noe Hernandez, 39, helped kidnap and hold the victim for nearly 24 hours on May 3, 2019. He also used a taser to inflict electric shocks to the victim while his hands were tied behind his back.

Homero Gallegos, 43, entered his plea in June.

High-level drug traffickers in Mexico connected to the Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generacion (CJNG) ordered the kidnapping. Mexican cartel members called the victim’s family members and demanded $400,000 for his release. Law enforcement executed a staged pick up of the ransom money in Houston and were able to rescue the victim.

“The Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generacion (CJNG) is one of the most violent cartels in Mexico, responsible for trafficking tons of cocaine, meth and fentanyl into the United States,” said Hamdani. “It’s power comes from a willingness, almost an eagerness, to commit unspeakable acts, including murder. Kidnapping and using a taser to torture exemplifies the level of brutality associated with one of the world’s most dangerous transnational criminal organizations, one that ravages communities from Mexico to Houston…and beyond.”

U.S. District Judge Andrew S. Hanen will impose sentencing March 24, 2024, at which time both men face up to life imprisonment, a possible $250,000 maximum fine. They will remain in custody pending that hearing.

The Drug Enforcement Administration, FBI and the Houston Police Department conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Anibal J. Alaniz and Casey N. MacDonald are prosecuting the case.