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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Police arrest suspected smuggler

     

    A suspected smuggler is in custody after a 32-year-old Mexican woman was kidnapped in Mountain View on Sunday because her family couldn’t pay the money he demanded, police said.

    Police spokeswoman LizWylie said Monday that authorities believe the woman is an illegal immigrant who was living in Malin, Ore., but returned to Mexico to visit her parents. When she could not get back into the U.S., family members pooled $3,300 to hire a smuggler to bring her to Mountain View, where her sister and other relatives live.

    The smuggler was supposed to take the woman all the way to Mountain View, Wylie said, but abandoned her across the border in Arizona – a common practice for smugglers, known in Mexico as “”coyotes.””

    “”They basically skip out on the rest of their duties and take the money and run,”” Wylie said. “”Then other people step in and it’s their job in this network of criminals to extort more money.””

    It’s not clear what happened to the woman after she was left in Arizona, Wylie said, but coyotes usually keep border crossers in “”very deplorable conditions.””

    “”She had some pretty extensive sores and bruises and things on her body,”” Wylie said, “”Not from the guy she was with … but from something else in this process.””

    Ultimately, 26-year-old Nicandro Aparicio, of Alabaster, Ariz., brought the woman to Elmwood and Washington

    streets in Mountain View at about 4 p.m. Sunday, Wylie said.

    There, he forced her to stay in the car, a blue Nissan Altima, while he demanded an additional $ 800 from her family. They couldn’t pay, so he sped off with her, driving onto the sidewalk because a car was blocking his way, Wylie said. On Monday, tire tracks were still visible in a rain- soaked lawn on Elmwood Street.

    The family called police, and an officer at the junction of Highway 237 and Highway 101 spotted the Altima. He followed it south until other Mountain View and California Highway Patrol officers could join him to provide backup. They eventually pulled the car over on Trimble Road in San Jose, near the Highway 101 off- ramp, and Aparicio was arrested, Wylie said. No weapons were recovered.

    Aparicio was booked into Santa Clara County jail on suspicion of kidnapping. He is also an illegal immigrant, Wylie said, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement has placed him under a hold so he cannot be released.

    The woman was not harmed and was returned to her family, Wylie said. Though the woman is here illegally, Wylie said it is up to federal immigration authorities — not the Mountain View Police Department – to decide whether she will be deported.

    A federal visa is available for victims of violent crimes,she added.

    “”( Mountain View police) don’t care about your immigration status,”” Wylie said. “” If you are a victim of a crime in Mountain View, we are here to help you. … Our stance has always been — and needs to be — we are here to apply services equally.””

    Wylie said she has not heard of any similar cases in the eight years she’s worked in Mountain View, but said these types of crimes often go unreported because families are worried it could lead to deportation or retaliation from the smugglers’ networks.

    In this case, Wylie said, the woman’s relatives felt they had to call police because they were “” afraid for her life.””

    “” They were very afraid of what might happen ( if they reported it), but they were very concerned they might never see her again,”” Wylie said. “”( Aparicio) told them ‘ You’ll never seeher again.'””

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