The Gist: A 28-year old New Mexico man will serve 12 years and seven months in prison for kidnapping. After going to prison, he will be subject three years of supervised release.
The Crime: Joshua Neil Bowen was sentenced on Feb. 16 in federal court. According to Bowen’s plea agreement and other public court documents, he and four co-defendants abducted the victim from a travel center in Mescalero, New Mexico, on April 4, 2019. Bowen and Roberto Cervantes, 25, of Chaparral, New Mexico, each had a firearm at the time. Cervantes hit the victim in the face several times. They also tied and bound the victim in an attempted robbery.
According to the FBI, Bowen and his co-defendants took the victim to Chaparral where the co-defendants tried to withdraw money from the victim’s bank account with a debit card. From there, some of the co-defendants traveled to El Paso, Texas, where Bowen took the victim to a bank. Bowen ordered the victim to pretend to be Bowen’s grandfather and change the PIN for the victim’s ATM card. After changing the PIN, Bowen transported the victim back to New Mexico. Some of the co-defendants obtained money from the victim’s bank account.
Bowen and his co-defendants checked into a hotel in Las Cruces, New Mexico, on April 5, 2019, where they prevented the victim from leaving. Bowen and Brittany Priddy, 30, of Ruidoso, New Mexico, left the hotel on April 7, 2019, and traveled to a residence.
The Rescue: On April 8, 2019, the victim managed to call his son and tell him where he was. An officer from the Las Cruces Police Department responded and rescued the victim.
More Guilty Pleas: Priddy pleaded guilty to kidnapping on April 28. Derek Welborn, 30, of Ruidoso Downs, New Mexico, pleaded guilty to kidnapping on April 30. Cervantes and Alison Comstock, 28, of Carrizozo, New Mexico, pleaded guilty to kidnapping on May 19. All of the remaining defendants are in custody awaiting sentencing.
The Investigation: The FBI investigated this case with the New Mexico State Police, Ruidoso Downs Police Department, Las Cruces Police Department and Dona Ana Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Marisa A. Ong and Matilda McCarthy Villalobos are prosecuting the case.