3 accused in foiled international kidnapping, murder plot

Three men were arrested on Saturday and charged with planning an elaborate, yet messy, international scheme to kidnap, kill and dispossess a man of his marble quarry in Mexico. Two of the suspects are over 70 years old.

Gilberto Molina, 76, from Mission, Alfredo Gonzalez, 73, and Alvaro Rodriguez, 53, a Mexican national, were arrested by federal agents working with an informant, according to the criminal complaint filed on Friday.

The informant met with FBI agents on Aug. 26 to talk of the plot against a marble quarry owner identified in the criminal complaint as “J.V.” After agreeing to help the agents, the informant had several recorded meetings with the three accused men to orchestrate the crime.

In a meeting held Sept. 8 at the Molina residence, the informant lied and said the target, J.V., was going to be in Mexico for a few weeks at a ranch owned by one of the informant’s friends, the complaint stated. According to the allegations, Molina said a kidnapping in Mexico would be easier to carry out than in the U.S. and suggested the victim be held and killed at the ranch.

Two other people would be needed to round out the plan: one to handle the legal transfer of quarry and another to “take care” of J.V. Molina said he had two people in mind. One of them, referred to as “Chino” in the complaint, would be handling the quarry business for an 80% cut of its income. The remaining 20% would be used to pay the hitman, the informant, and the ranch’s owner, the complaint stated.

The details to execute the plan were unclear after that first meeting. Then on Sept. 10, Molina, Gonzalez, Rodriguez, and the informant met again. They were working out the sequence of the kidnapping, according to the complaint, which went on to allege that the group suggested using the informant’s friend, the owner of the ranch, to kidnap and confine J.V. until the hitman would show up.

The group also needed to find out the exact location of the quarry. Rodriguez said he could help with that, according to the complaint. He knew a person in Mexico who could look up property information, but he would need J.V.’s full name.

Before the meeting wrapped up, Rodriguez warned the group about being careful when they communicated; he didn’t want to go to prison.

They met again about a week later, and the informant told the group the Mexican ranch owner needed to get paid $1,000 to kidnap and confine J.V. The following day, Molina allegedly gave the informant the money.

All three men appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Peter E Ormsby via videoconferencing on Monday for their initial appearance on the charge of conspiracy to commit kidnapping.

They remain under federal custody until the bond is discussed at their upcoming detention hearing.

The lawyers representing the defendants declined to comment.