Jose Torrez heads to prison for role in 2017 kidnapping that turned deadly

Crime

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A third person has been sentenced for his role in a gruesome case of kidnapping and torture, that turned deadly. Jose Torrez was part of the group that kidnapped John Soyka and another man in 2017, over stolen cash and pot.


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Investigators say it was at Torrez’s Albuquerque home, that Soyka was beaten and killed before the group mutilated Soyka’s body and used a picture of it to threaten his friend. Soyka’s body was later found in a shallow grave just outside the city. Torrez pleaded to kidnapping and has been sentenced to 14 years in federal prison. He is serving another three years in an unrelated bank fraud case.

According to a news release from the U.S. Department of Justice District of New Mexico, in the plea agreement, Torrez participated in a scheme with his wife, Christina Torrez, 46, to steal mail containing credit cards, debit cards, checks and personal information.

The news release states that Torrez and his wife accessed bank accounts using stolen identities and withdrew money from the accounts and used stolen credit and debit cards to buy merchandise from various stores totaling more than $10,000. During the scheme, Torrez and his wife obtained United States Postal Service uniforms, badges and keys to help them in stealing mail, according to the same news release.

Upon Torrez’s release from prison, he will be subject to a combined term of five years of supervised release.

Torrez’s co-conspirators in the kidnapping, Chase Smotherman and Mariah Ferry, are already serving their sentence. Smotherman was sentenced to 45 years and Ferry to 30 years.

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