Two sentenced in kidnapping of 14-year-old near Wapato

Two sentenced in kidnapping of 14-year-old near Wapato
U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE NEWS RELEASE -- Today, Michael C. Ormsby, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced that Ernesto Martinez, age 20, was sentenced to 25 years imprisonment and Yaritza Contreras, age 20, was sentenced to 9 years imprisonment for their involvement in a conspiracy to kidnap a minor.

According to information disclosed during the court proceedings, during the early morning hours of May 10, 2013, Ernesto Martinez and Esmeralda Contreras entered a residence and abducted a fourteen year old boy. Martinez subsequently made several ransom calls to the victim’s father. The victim’s father quickly reported the crime to the Yakima County Sheriff’s Office. The Yakima County Sheriff’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation immediately began working together with the goal of reuniting the victim with his parents. At approximately 2:00 p.m., due to the outstanding efforts of law enforcement Esmeralda Contreras and Yaritza Contreras were apprehended. The victim was found bound with duct tape and rope. The victim was unharmed and quickly reunited with his parents.

Senior United States District Judge Robert H. Whaley sentenced Ernesto Martinez to 25 years imprisonment, to be followed by 5 years of court supervision upon release from Federal prison. Yartiza Contreras was sentenced to 9 years imprisonment, to be followed by 5 years of court supervision upon release from Federal prison. Esmeralda Contreras, a third individual involved in the abduction, currently has a sentencing hearing scheduled for May 7, 2014.

Michael C. Ormsby, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, said, “The abduction of a child is an extremely serious offense and offenders will be subjected to long terms of incarceration. The United States Attorney’s Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Yakama County Sheriff’s Office, have a zero tolerance policy regarding such egregious acts of violence and are committed to prosecuting individuals who engage in such horrific offenses.”

The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Yakima County Sheriff’s Office, the Wapato Police Department, and the Yakima Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Alison L. Gregoire and Thomas J. Hanlon, Assistance United States Attorneys for the Eastern District of Washington.