A New Mexico man accused of transporting five people from Mexico into the U.S. and then holding them for ransom was denied bail at his arraignment Wednesday in Fresno.
Fresno County Superior Court Judge John F. Vogt ordered Cristian Guadalupe Ortiz Coronado, 31, be held at the Fresno County Jail without bail as he is considered a flight risk and a potential danger to the community.
His public defender, Joshua Roberts, asked the judge for a hearing on the issue of bail and to postpone his arraignment until Sept. 13. The judge agreed.
Ortiz Coronado is charged with four counts of kidnapping for ransom, one count of attempted kidnapping for ransom, one count of attempted kidnapping and two counts of child abuse.
Ortiz Coronado was arrested Friday by Fresno police after they were contacted by a family member who said he paid the man about $15,000 to bring his wife, and two children, a 4-year-old boy and 9-year-old girl, to Fresno. The alleged kidnapper was also transporting two males.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Nicole Idiart said that when Ortiz Coronado met with the family member and a brother-in-law, he tried extorting another $4,000 from them by saying he never received payment for the trip.
As the men argued, the brother-in-law sneaked up to Ortiz Coronado’s car and grabbed the 4-year-old, before the defendant fled with the rest of the family.
With the help of Fresno police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the family member set up another meeting with Ortiz Coronado, but this time officers where waiting for him. He was arrested, and the kidnapped victims were all safe.
If convicted on all charges, Ortiz Coronado could face life in prison with the possibility of parole.