Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Cuban trio charged with kidnapping fellow Cubans after promises of freedom in Florida

TAMPA — Promised a secret trip to Florida, Armando Ismael Victores-Martinez left his native Cuba on a boat in hopes of joining his father in Tampa.

Instead, he and others aboard that boat in March 2009 found themselves in Mexico — and captives in a house.

Victores-Martinez was told that if he didn't find a way to pay $10,000, he would be beaten to death.

This tale helped a federal grand jury indict three Cuban nationals on charges they operated an international kidnapping ring, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Tampa said Thursday.

Prosecutors say the three promised to bring Cubans with relatives in the United States to Florida, but instead held them in Mexico while demanding ransom from family members.

The number of victims and details about the discovery and arrest of the ring members are still unknown. The indictment took place in May, and was made public Thursday.

"We are fairly tight-lipped right now," said Steve Cole, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, brothers Hector Daniel Camejo de la Flor, 23, and Carlos Martinez de la Flor, 32, worked with their uncle, Alexis Alberto Viltres Ramos, 42, to pull off the kidnappings.

Camejo de la Flor and his uncle operated out of Miami, while Martinez de la Flor kept the hostages at a house in Mexico, the U.S. Attorney's Office says.

In late March 2009, the kidnappers forced Victores-Martinez to call his father, Jose Armando Victores-Ruiz, according to the indictment.

After Camejo de la Flor and his uncle collected the ransom in Tampa, the indictment says, Victores-Martinez was brought to Texas and then to Florida a few weeks later.

Reached at his Tampa home Thursday, Victores-Ruiz declined to comment for the story, but said his son had indeed been kidnapped.

The three men have been charged with conspiracy to commit kidnapping, kidnapping and extortion. If convicted on all counts, each faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

More details are about the case are likely to emerge at Martinez de la Flor's arraignment and detention hearing, scheduled for July 26.

Nandini Jayakrishna can be reached at (813) 226-3383 or

Cuban trio charged with kidnapping fellow Cubans after promises of freedom in Florida 07/08/10 [Last modified: Friday, July 9, 2010 7:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. No toll lanes north of downtown Tampa in three of four interstate proposals


    TAMPA — Express lanes may not be coming to downtown Tampa after all. Or at least not to the stretch of Interstate 275 that goes north through Bearss Avenue.

    Seminole Heights resident Kimberly Overman discusses the new interstate options with V.M. Ybor resident Chris Vela (left), Hillsborough County Commissioner Pat Kemp and HNTB consultant Chloe Coney during a Tampa Bay Express meeting Monday night at the Barrymore Hotel. [CAITLIN JOHNSTON  |  Times]
  2. No lack of issues facing St. Petersburg's six council candidates


    ST. PETERSBURG — The six candidates for City Council gathered Monday evening in the very chamber to which they aspire to serve.

    St. Petersburg City Council candidates (from left)  Brandi Gabbard and Barclay Harless in District 2; Jerick Johnston and incumbent council member Darden Rice in District 4; and Justin Bean and Gina Driscoll of District 6. All six candidates appeared at Monday night's forum at City Hall sponsored by the League of Women Voters. [CHERIE DIEZ   |   Times]

  3. Iraq's Kurds vote on independence, raising regional fears


    IRBIL, Iraq — Iraqi Kurds voted Monday in a landmark referendum on supporting independence, a move billed by the Kurdish leadership as an exercise in self-determination but viewed as a hostile act by Iraq's central government. Neighboring Turkey even threatened a military response.

    People celebrate Monday after voting closed in a referendum on independence in Irbil, Iraq.
  4. North Korean diplomat says Trump has 'declared war'


    UNITED NATIONS — North Korea's top diplomat said Monday that President Donald Trump's weekend tweet was a "declaration of war" and North Korea has the right to retaliate by shooting down U.S. bombers, even in international airspace.

    North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho, center, speaks outside the U.N. Plaza Hotel in New York on Monday.
  5. Pinellas grants St. Pete's request to add millions to pier budget

    Local Government

    Times Staff Writer

    The Pinellas County Commission has granted St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman's request to dedicate millions more toward the city's new pier.

    The St. Petersburg City Council on Thursday  voted 7-1 to appropriate $17.6 million for the over-water portion of the Pier District. This is a rendering of what the new Pier District could look like. [Courtesy of St. Petersburg]