LA JOYA — Authorities said they arrested a man Monday on drug charges and on allegations that he assaulted his daughter after she came to the defense of illegal immigrants whom was holding for ransom at his home.
Julian Toscano, 66, was arrested by La Joya police and later charged with assault family violence, possession of a controlled substance — Roche pills — and possession of marijuana, police Chief Jose Del Angel said.
Toscano was transported to Hidalgo County Jail after his bond was set at $100,000.
Police responding to a disturbance at the intersection of Second and King streets discovered Toscano confronting a Good Samaritan who was trying to keep him away from three Honduran immigrants, Del Angel said.
Police learned Toscano had been threatening the immigrants with a baseball bat at his home near Eighth and Leo streets when his daughter came to their defense, Del Angel said. Toscano slapped her as the two argued, and the immigrants escaped, Del Angel said.
“He was apparently holding them for ransom and went as far as getting them calling cards so they could call home and ask for money,” Del Angel said.
“The daughter also stated that her father sold Roche pills and that he also had a small amount of marijuana in the house,” Del Angel said. “We went to look for it and sure enough, the drugs were there.”
U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agents were called in to investigate the case, but federal charges were not filed.
The immigrants were turned over to U.S. Border Patrol for removal procedures.
Ildefonso Ortiz covers law enforcement and general assignments for The Monitor. He can be reached at (956) 683-4437.