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Sheriff's deputies arrest 2nd suspect in beating of immigrant

May 24, 2001|By DARREN SIMON, Staff Writer

With the investigation into the beating of an undocumented immigrant earlier this week continuing, county Sheriff's Office investigators have arrested a second suspect and identified a second victim.

At 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, several hours after the alleged early morning attack, police arrested Luis Alberto Cardenas, 34, of Seeley.

He was booked into the county jail on suspicion of assault, robbery and kidnapping. His bail was set at $100,000.

Investigators have alleged Cardenas made contact with two immigrants near Seeley at 11:30 p.m. Monday.

Sheriff's Investigator Jesse Lopez said Cardenas promised to take the two undocumented immigrants, both men, out of the Imperial Valley.

Lopez alleged Cardenas drove the two to El Centro and back to Seeley. During that time Cardenas picked up two women.

At some point after midnight the victims were reportedly driven into the desert south of Seeley. At least one of the men was beaten, had his possessions taken and was thrown into the trunk of the car.


That man, whose identity was not available, reported being driven around for a while before being dropped off in the Seeley area.

The man was later found by a U.S. Border Patrol agent.

There was no information on the second man, according to Lopez, who said that individual ended up back in Mexicali.

Lopez said he was going to contact the Mexican consulate in Calexico to try to check on the man's well-being.

In the hours after the incident sheriff's deputies arrested a Pomona woman thought to be one of the two women in the vehicle.

The woman, who was staying in El Centro with family, was booked into the county jail on suspicion of robbery, assault and kidnapping. Her bail was set at $100,000.

Investigators were continuing to search for the second woman in the vehicle.

Lopez said it is thought some sort of iron instrument was used in the beating.

Staff Writer Darren Simon can be reached at 337-4082.

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