Ex-Tijuana Cop Supected Of Plot To Kidnap O.C. Child



A onetime Tijuana police officer was arrested on suspicion of plotting to kidnap the child of a wealthy Orange County family, authorities said.

Authorities said the suspect, Cesar Ariel Zapata-Landeros, told an informant that he had planned the kidnapping, going as far as to rent a storage garage where he claimed he would keep the child, according to court records unsealed Wednesday.Cesar Ariel Zapata-Landeros, suspect in Orange County kidnap-for-ransom plot.

Federal prosecutors allege that Zapata-Landeros intended to run the mother’s car off the road in the Tustin Hills area as she took her children to school. He told the informant he would then demand a $300,000 ransom, threatening to cut off two of the child’s fingers and send them to the family if they refused to pay.

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The FBI conducted the investigation with the Westminster Police Department. Westminster officers and FBI agents arrested Zapata-Landeros on March 16 about 100 yards from the potential victim’s home. The suspect was charged in federal court with solicitation to commit kidnapping for ransom.

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