Heavily armed FBI agents raided a compound on the dusty west mesa in search of a suspected kidnapper at the center of a bizarre case, but came up empty-handed.
A criminal complaint explains the man they were looking for, Jose Ramirez, reportedly tied up his former boss and tried to get his family to wire tens of thousands of dollars to Mexico.
Ramirez is accused of kidnapping his former boss last week in an attempt to extort money.
The victim, who owns a home improvement business, had fired Ramirez a few years ago for theft.
“It’s scary, it’s shocking. Like, you would never expect that,” one of Ramirez’s neighbors told KRQE News 13.
“He was a nice guy, you know? He would say hello to me and I would say hello to him and that’s it,” another neighbor said.
According to the criminal complaint, two men wearing stocking caps and bandanas grabbed the Placitas man in late July as he was leaving his house.
He was pistol-whipped and forced into his own truck.
He was later blindfolded with his hands and feet tied as he was taken to a shed in an unknown area.
The kidnappers had him call his daughter to wire nearly $10,000 to a bank account in Guadalajara, Mexico.
However, the daughter told the kidnappers she couldn’t do it because the bank needed more account information for an international transfer.
The FBI looked at the call records and that led them to Ramirez, the account holder.
The FBI thought they would track him down at a compound within the northern edge of the Pajarito Mesa early Thursday morning, but he wasn’t there.
As for the victim, he was dropped off that night near the train tracks at Rio Bravo and Second Street.
He then walked to a gas station for help, where employees called the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department and the victim was taken to a hospital for treatment.
The victim was is a pilot. Investigators say after the ordeal he flew over the mesa looking for the compound where he thought he was being held and gave those coordinates to the FBI.
Ramirez is currently on parole on aggravated battery and gun charges.
He took off his ankle monitor the day before the kidnapping.
There’s now a $1,000 reward for information leading to his arrest.