Five people convicted on federal charges relating to kidnapping resulting in death

Posted at 1:27 PM, Apr 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-27 13:42:49-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX18 — Three men were convicted Wednesday by a federal court jury in relation to charges of a kidnapping that resulted in a death.

Rosario Diaz Barraza, 32, of Phoenix, Ariz., and Ramon Camacho Zepeda, 54, of Lexington were convicted of conspiracy to commit kidnapping and interstate transportation of stolen automobiles. John Carlos Betancourt, 27, of Peñuelas, Puerto Rico was convicted of interstate transportation of stolen vehicles.

According to evidence at the trial, the charges were from the kidnapping of two people. The victims' bodies were found in the trunk of a car on Blue Sky Parkway at an automotive repair business in Lexington back in September 2017. The business was owned by one of the victims of the kidnapping.

Evidence from the case shows that Barraza and Zepeda were distributing cocaine and heroin in Lexington and that one of the victims "had allegedly incurred a debt to them based on his involvement in the drug trafficking."

Jose Felix Tlatenchi and Jean Michael Serrano-Jimenez, both from Wilkes-Barre, PA. have previously entered guilty pleas related to the case and their involvement. Jimenez pled guilty to conspiracy to commit kidnapping and Tlatenchi pled guilty to "accessory after the fact to the kidnappings."

Autopsies showed that one victim died of "chop wounds" to their head and asphyxiation, while the other victim died of asphyxiation.

Barraza, Zepeda, and Betancourt are all scheduled for sentencing on July 25th. Jimenez is set to face sentencing on May 12th, and Tlatenchi is scheduled for July 7th.

Jimenez, Barrraza and Zepeda face a maximum life sentence. Betancourt faces up to 10 years. Tlatenchi faces up to 15 years.