Wednesday, January 5, 2011
A woman who allegedly used her feminine wiles to help a Mexican kidnap crew capture their victims in San Diego has been extradited from Mexico.
Her name is Nancy Mendoza.
Though, one of her alleged victims, Eduardo Gonzalez Tostado, testified in a San Diego court that he simply knew her as Nancy. He said she was young and attractive and he planned to go on a date with her, even though he was married.
According to law enforcement authorities, that was Nancy Mendoza's M.O. They allege a member of the kidnap crew member was her boyfriend, but she pretended to like to date married men to help lure the victims.
Gonzalez Tostado, an Ensenada businessman who lived in Chula Vista and was kidnapped there on June 8, 2007, says one of the kidnap crew members, David Valencia, introduced him to Nancy. Gonzalez says he and Valencia were acquaintances and Valencia thought Gonzalez might like Nancy, but it turned out to be a set up.
Gonzalez made a date with Nancy. She told him to come by her aunt's Chula Vista home to pick her up. When Gonzalez walked in the door, six men waited with Tasers and handcuffs. They stuffed him in a closet. It turned out to be a gang safe house, not Nancy's aunt's house. The next day, the kidnappers called Gonzalez's wife to ask for ransom. The FBI stormed the house and rescued Gonzalez a week later.
James Fontaine is an assistant district attorney on the case. He said Nancy's extradition sends an important message. "But for her activities, this person would not have been victimized. So, at least she will face justice."
Nancy was arrainged in Superior Court Wednesday and is being held without bail.
Fontaine said Mexican authorities arrested Nancy in Tijuana last August. He praised the Mexican government for the speedy extradition.
Fontaine says he's waiting for Mexico to extradite another alleged crew member, Jesus Gonzalez Trujillo, who is wanted for three murders, kidnapping and robbery. Mexican authorities arrested him on an unrelated crime and notified U.S. authorities. Fontaine said he's been waiting a year for Trujillo to arrive in San Diego.
San Diego's District Attorney indicted 17 members of the crew last year for torturing and murdering nine people in San Diego between 2004 and 2007. Four of the men face the death penalty; five are still at large. They include: Juan Lorenzo Arvisu, who's alleged to have tried to murder a Chula Vista policeman, and Ernest Ayon, who's wanted for two murders. He allegedly dissolved the bodies in acid.