McALLEN – One more man pleaded guilty Tuesday to federal hostage taking charges in the abduction of a University of Texas-Pan American student last fall.
Onan Herrera-Sanchez reached a deal with federal prosecutors to plead guilty to one count of hostage taking in exchange for prosecutors dropping an additional one. He previously pleaded not guilty to both counts.
Herrera-Sanchez became the second defendant in the case to reverse a not guilty plea in less than a week. Milton Treviño pleaded guilty to one count of hostage taking in federal court Friday.
The two men – along with a third, suspected to be Treviño’s uncle, Miguel Angel Navarro – forced Ana Elizondo into a gray convertible as she walked to her car in a UTPA parking lot on a Tuesday evening in September. She was then held captive for more than 24 hours as her captors attempted to procure a $100,000 ransom from her father.
Treviño eventually freed her after he learned the others planned to kill her, according to court documents.
Herrera-Sanchez, a Honduran national in the United States illegally, turned himself in to authorities at the Hidalgo international bridge in October. He told the FBI that Navarro and Sanchez said he owed them a debt for crossing into the country and that he could pay for it by helping with a job – later revealed to him to be Elizondo’s kidnapping.
Navarro has pleaded not guilty.
His wife, Elva Mendoza Navarro, has been charged with aggravated kidnapping – a state-level, second-degree felony – for her role in the abduction, but was not charged federally. The primary difference between the state and federal charges is the federal charge includes the issuance of a death threat.