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Border Patrol Works with Mexico to Arrest Kidnapping-Cell Leader

Release Date: 
September 9, 2013

TIJUANA, BAJA CALIF.—On September 1, after months of international collaboration, officials from the Government of Mexico (GoM) arrested the leader of a kidnapping cell that was responsible for kidnapping, raping, and torturing victims in the San Diego-Tijuana border area.

Serafin Medina-Angel was arrested by Mexican officials on Sunday, September 1, at his home in Tijuana. This event was preceded by a rescue operation last spring when the U.S. Border Patrol's Foreign Operations Branch (FOB) coordinated with GoM Policía Federal to rescue three Mexican nationals on May 25, 2013. At that time, the FOB partnered with the Procuradía General de Justicia del Estado Kidnapping Unit and the Policía Federal's Anti-Kidnapping Unit. The three originating groups had worked diligently for months to locate Medina-Angel's operating base, where he routinely captured and imprisoned Mexican nationals who attempted to cross into the U.S. from Mexico. The prisoners were tortured and raped while Medina-Angel's accomplices attempted to collect ransom from the victims' families.

After being taken into custody, Medina-Angel was arraigned in a Tijuana court on Thursday, September 5, and charged with three counts of kidnapping.

To prevent the illicit smuggling of humans, drugs, and other contraband, the U.S. Border Patrol maintains a high level of vigilance on major corridors of egress away from our Nation's borders. To report suspicious activity to the U.S. Border Patrol, contact San Diego Sector at (619) 498-9900.

Last modified: 
February 3, 2021