BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) — A fourth person has been sentenced for his role in a kidnapping and extortion scheme that targeted Central American immigrants as they exited buses New York, federal prosecutors said Monday.
Lucilo Cabrera, 46, was sentenced to more than 11 years in prison and three years of probation, U.S. Attorney for Connecticut John Durham said.
Cabrera and others targeted their victims after they exited buses at the Port Authority in New York, according to court records. Many victims, who did not speak English and were seeking asylum in the U.S., planned to travel from New York to Connecticut.
They were told that their connecting bus was not available, so the defendants coerced the victims into vehicles, then drove them around, sometimes for hours, refusing to release them until they or their families agreed to pay a fee.
They even posed as an immigration officer to intimidate the victims further, prosecutors said.
Cabrera, a citizen of the Dominican Republic and a legal resident of the U.S., was found guilty in March 2018 of kidnapping, extortion and conspiracy offenses.