Aurora, CO – Aurora police rescued a man that was kidnapped in front of his family after Denver police refused to do anything about it.
The incident occurred in broad daylight on Nov. 4 when five armed men dressed in black identified themselves as bounty hunters and raided the apartment of 25-year old Jose Salguero-Martinez in Aurora, KDVR reported.
The ringleader of the group – 40-year-old William Holland – posted a video of the illegal arrest on Instagram under the handle @frainvestigations.
“This guy ran from New York since 2015, six years later here we are,” Holland captioned the video.
The video, which is evidence of the crime committed by Holland his cohorts, showed exactly how the illegal arrest happened and the reactions of Salguero-Martinez’s family, KDVR reported.
“Can you get a jacket for him, get a jacket, he’s going to need a jacket,” one of the so-called bounty hunters told a family member of the man in handcuffs. “It gets cold at night. You need a jacket, man, he’s going to be with us for a while.”
The video showed the man’s family tried to ascertain where Salguero-Martinez was being taken and whether the arrest was legitimate, KDVR reported.
“So you guys take him down to the county, the cops don’t pick him up?” a female family member asked.
“We do everything,” one of the men arresting Salguero-Martinez replied.
Charging documents showed the men took Salguero-Martinez to a Best Western hotel in Denver, KDVR reported.
Surveillance video from the hotel’s security cameras showed Salguero-Martinez was escorted into the hotel by two men, handcuffed with a black hood over his head.
Then Holland called Salguero-Martinez’s aunt and demanded $1,500, KDVR reported.
Holland told the aunt that if the money wasn’t paid, Salguero-Martinez would be turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents.
Charging document said the aunt raised the $1,500 from family members, plus an additional $250 the men demanded to pay for the room at the Best Western, KDVR reported.
But when the family tried to buy Salguero-Martinez’s freedom, the so-called bounty hunters demanded another $5,000 to make ICE warrants go away.
That was when the family realized that it was an extortion scam and called the Denver Police Department (DPD), KDVR reported.
Charging documents said Denver police told the family they went to the hotel room but “did not see anything suspicious” when they saw Salguero-Martinez with the men who had kidnapped him.
“The suspects produced some type of paperwork stating they were Bail Bondsman which DPD accepted as legitimate. After reviewing the paperwork, DPD departed the area and advised [the aunt] to do the same,” Holland’s arrest affidavit read.
After Denver police visited the Best Western, Salguero-Martinez’s captors moved him to a Radisson Hotel in Aurora, KDVR reported.
The kidnapped man’s family called police again, but this time they called the Aurora Police Department.
Aurora police contacted an ICE supervisory detention and deportation officer who told them his agency “had no reason to order the arrest of Salguero-Martinez,” KDVR reported.
“Thankfully, Aurora PD was able to reach out to one of my ICE officers to get the confirmation that this was not someone we had targeted,” ICE Denver Field Office Director John Fabbricatore said.
Fabbricatore said ICE wouldn’t ever give bounty hunters permission to raid a residence and kidnap someone at gunpoint or hold them in a hotel, KDVR reported.
“No, that is not part of the immigration bond process. We do not use bounty hunters,” he explained.
Aurora police went to the Radisson and found Salguero-Martinez “handcuffed to waist chains which were secured by a combination padlock,” KDVR reported.
The arrest affidavits said Salguero-Martinez told police he heard his captors arguing about what to do with him and “one of the suspects suggested they just kill Salguero-Martinez. This suggestion was denied by another suspect that said they could not kill him because he had a wife and kids.”
Fabbricatore said that Denver police should have called ICE the way that Aurora police had done, KDVR reported.
“That would have been ideal had they done that,” the immigration agent said. “In a situation like this, where we had a non-citizen that was kidnapped by a supposed bounty hunter, we need to make sure that we are working with local law enforcement to make sure that does not happen.”
Bianey Bermudez, with the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition, said undocumented immigrants are vulnerable to kidnapping for money because they’re afraid to ask U.S. authorities to help them when something happens, KDVR reported.
William Ellenburg, a legitimate Colorado bail bondsman, said Holland did everything wrong.
“He shouldn’t have touched him, he shouldn’t have knocked on that door,” Ellenburg said.
He told KDVR that bounty hunters and bail bondsmen are prohibited from forcing entry into a home to make an arrest in Colorado, KDVR reported.
Ellenburg said that Holland dug his own grave with the video posted to Instagram.
“That was a nail in his own coffin. He basically just showed everybody that him and his team are a bunch of criminals,” he said.
Holland and 34-year-old Brandon Sharp were both arrested and charged with first- and second-degree kidnapping by Arapahoe County prosecutors, KDVR reported.
Three other suspects have not yet been apprehended.
Aurora police discovered that Holland had six other pending criminal cases when he kidnapped Salguero-Martinez, KDVR reported.
He has been charged with impersonating a police officer in two cases in Arapahoe County.
Ellenburg also said that he thought Denver police owed Salguero-Martinez and his family an apology, KDVR reported.
Denver police have refused to comment on the case but said they have launched an internal investigation into the incident.