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Man gets 13 years for holding illegal immigrants hostage

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Man gets 13 years for holding illegal immigrants hostage

A 21-year-old Mexican man was sentenced Wednesday to 13 years in prison for holding illegal immigrants hostage inside a Tucson home, the U.S. Attorney's Office announced.

Oscar Monroy Reyes, of Mazatlán, Sinaloa, pleaded guilty to hostage-taking on Aug. 24, 2011, said Bill Solomon, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office.

According to court documents, Pima County Sheriff's Department received a 911 call on March 24, 2010, from a Tucson resident who said a man had asked her to let him into her house because he was being chased by two other men. As deputies arrived at the home, PCSD dispatchers received another 911 call about a man asking for help at another nearby resident.

The men told deputies that they had been held hostage at a home in the area and were able to escape when one of the hostage-takers left a handgun unattended when he left the room to use the bathroom, Solomon said.

As deputies drove the men to the home where they were held hostage for several days, they pointed out two of the hostage-takers walking from the residence. The accused pair, Jose Bautista Barajas and Elsa Carillo Banuelos, were taken into custody, Solomon said.

Inside the home, deputies found four men, one of whom had head injuries from being pistol-whipped, Solomon said.

After receiving another 911 call, deputies found Monroy hiding under a boat in the backyard of a nearby home, Solomon said.

All of the hostages were in the country illegally and had initially arranged to be smuggled into the United States for between $1,500 and $1,600 each. Once in Tucson, the men were kept at gunpoint in a locked room where their shoes, belts and IDs were taken away while the smugglers demanded more money from the hostages' families, Solomon said.

Each of the hostages identified Monroy as the leader of the group, Solomon said.

For their roles, Carillo was sentenced to 87 months in prison on Sept. 23, 2010, and Bautista was sentenced to 10 years in prison on April 19, 2011. Monroy, Carillo and Bautista each faces five years of supervised release upon completion of their sentences, Solomon said.

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