Acts of kidnapping, assault, and death threats are part of a federal indictment that could have Raul Ochoa-Perez, 42, facing the rest of his life in federal prison. Ochoa-Perez, a.k.a. “Coco,” allegedly fled to Mexico to avoid prosecution. He returned to the United States on April 15th and surrendered to federal authorities.
A copy of the indictment obtained by Breitbart Texas alleges that on January 13, 2014, “Coco” lured a male victim, Heriberto Benavides, Jr. into his Chevrolet pickup truck where then pulled a pistol on Benavides and said, “If you move, I’ll kill you.” He then reportedly drove Benavides from the United States into Mexico where they met up with two other men. The two men took Benavides into a mobile home and secured him in a bathroom with his hands bound.
The defendant then watched as the two men repeatedly and severely beat Benavides by kicking and punching him all over his head and body. The men reportedly threatened Benavides with a knife to his throat and a gun to his mouth. They threatened to kill him and cut him into pieces unless they received a ransom of $55,000. They also reportedly threatened to kill and cut up his family if the payment was not received. The defendant called Mary Lou Morua and threatened to kill her, Benavides, her children, and her parents if she did not come up with the money.
The defendant was taken on May 14th before Federal Judge Diana Saldana and ordered to be held for arraignment on May 22nd.
On May 6, 2014, Magistrate Judge J. Scott Hacker ordered the defendant to be detained because of his potential flight risk and potential threat to the community. “Coco” is a Mexican national who is lawfully present in the United States with permanent resident alien status according to the Detention Order obtained by Breitbart Texas. He has significant ties to both the United States, where he is married to an American citizen, and to Mexico, where he is known to frequently travel to conduct business. “Coco” fled to Mexico after learning he was a suspect in the alleged kidnapping and only returned to the United States upon obtaining evidence he felt would be favorable for his defense. The evidence obtained was the successful passing of a polygraph examination.
After learning that a search of property associated with the defendant revealed a stash of $180,000 in cash hidden in the ceiling bundled and wrapped with duct tape, Breitbart Texas contacted the Houston office of the U.S. Attorney to inquire about any gang or cartel affiliation. No gang or cartel affiliation was identified or mentioned in the Indictment or Detention Order. In reports filed with the court, the defendant claimed to have no assets. During the search, two rifles and a semi-automatic firearm were also seized. Breitbart Texas has not received a response to its inquiry.
Breitbart Texas’ Managing Director, Brandon Darby, recently reported the DOJ has been omitting mentions of cartels and transnational criminal organizations from reports and press releases because of ongoing discussions about the importance of border security. The press release for the Ochoa-Perez case described above makes no mention of the defendant’s nationality, immigration status, or any gang or cartel association.
If convicted, the defendant faces up to life in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 for each count of the indictment.
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