Document: Cartel gunmen forced Las Cruces couple to kidnap, transport woman in trunk

Texas

Enrique Lucero Jr., 49, and 48-year-old Guadalupe Caro.

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — A Las Cruces woman told investigators several armed people forced her into kidnapping after arriving at her home looking for her son Joel on Saturday.

Guadalupe “Lupe” Caro, 48, said the people threatened her and demanded $80,000 or the “product” that was owed to a man named “Padrino,” according to court documents obtained by KTSM.

On Sunday, Doña Ana County Sheriffs Office deputies arrested Caro and her husband, Enrique Lucero Jr., for their alleged involvement in what has been described as “cartel” activity, according to the sheriff. The two are facing kidnapping charges.

Armed individuals ordered Caro to deliver the threatening message to her son’s friend, or they would kill his mother. They approached her on Saturday evening, according to court documents.

KTSM 9 News is withholding Joel’s friend’s name because he has not been formally charged by the sheriff’s office. Victims’ names have also been withheld for their safety.

At about 7 p.m. Saturday, Caro said she told Joel’s friend’s mother that people were looking for their sons.

Joel’s friend was notified and he went to his mother’s house moments later. His fiancée, however, stayed at the couple’s home.

The fiancée said once alone, Joel arrived at the couple’s home and asked to go inside, stating that people were looking for him and threatening to kill him.

She denied Joel entry and left to join her fiancé at his mother’s house.

The fiancée said that about 2 a.m. Sunday morning, she heard arguing in the driveway before shots rang out. She ran into a bedroom and hid with her fiancé and his mother.

Two men used a shotgun to blast the house’s door open, according to court documents. It wasn’t long before one of the men walked into the bedroom and took the fiancée away.

Where’s the “soda?”

Joel’s friend’s fiancé told investigators that the gunmen forced her into an SUV. She saw two men and two women in the SUV before some put a bag over her head.

She said they drove her to a residence and sat her on a couch, and when they removed the bag from her head, she knew she was in Caro’s home.

The woman said four men and four women were in the room, including Caro and a man dressed in a Border Patrol uniform.

She said the groups spoke in Spanish, asking where is the “soda,” slang for cocaine.

She said she was there for an hour before they threw her in a trunk and drove her to an apartment complex in El Paso, Texas, where two men let her go.

The drive to El Paso

Caro told investigators it was she and her husband who drove the woman to El Paso.

Caro said she didn’t know the woman was in her home. She said they brought her when she left to notify her son’s friend.

Caro said the woman cried when they asked where the product was, saying she had nothing. She said the gunmen instructed her to tie the woman to a chair and place a bag over her head.

Caro said she and Lucero, were then instructed to get into their vehicle before the gunmen put the woman in the trunk. Caro said she could hear the woman scream and cry, and Caro allegedly threatened to shoot her if she didn’t stop.

She said they drove to several locations, including a hotel and a residence in El Paso, with vehicles escorting them.

Caro said they dropped off the woman at a residence, where an unknown individual physically picked up the woman from the trunk and took her in.

Afterward, Caro said two men got into her vehicle and instructed her husband to drive. She said she feared they’d kill her and Lucero. Instead, Caro said they dropped off one man at a residence and another named “Wero” at a hotel on Sunland Park Drive.

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