ALAMANCE COUNTY, NC - The Alejandro Gonzales kidnapping was determined to be the product of a possible international drug trafficking ring, according to the Alamance County Sheriff's Office.
Two have been arrested in connection with the crime, including Hector Manuel Lopez Jr. and Briana Lizeth Cardenas. The investigation has indicated the involvement of drug trafficking and it's believed the Sinaloa Drug Cartel out of Mexico is involved.
The sheriff's office says Gonzales was one of three kidnapping victims, but the other two were released shortly after they were taken. Gonzales was found at a mobile home in Lumberton Thursday around 1:30. He was found to have been beaten, bound and was unconscious. The 20-year-old was taken to the hospital.
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The other two kidnapping victims were Roberto Sanchez, 27, and a 15-year-old juvenile. Gonzales' car was found in the Haw River on Thursday.
The sheriff's office was notified of the kidnapping across from the Mebane Walmart on Tuesday. Sanchez and the 15-year-old were treated for injuries that occurred during the kidnapping, which happened at gunpoint.
Lopez Jr., 23, was charged with four counts of Kidnapping, three counts of Robbery with firearms or other dangerous weapons, one count of Motor Vehicle theft, one count of Trafficking in Schedule II Cocaine and two counts of Failure to Appear in Court. He carries a $1,352,000 bond. Cardenas, 19, was charged with three counts of Accessory Before the Fact of a Felony (Kidnapping and Robbery).
The investigation is continuing as additional suspects are being interviewed.