|For Immediate Release
Case # 05HF2102
November 4, 2011
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
TWO SMUGGLERS FACE TRIAL FOR KIDNAPPING MOTHER AND 5-YEAR-OLD SON FOR RANSOM IN HUMAN TRAFFICKING CASE
SANTA ANA – Two human-traffickers face trial Monday for kidnapping a Brazilian woman and her child and holding them for ransom while smuggling them from South America into the United States. Reynaldo Junior Eid, 52, New York, NY, and Alaor Docarmo Oliveira Jr., 57, Danbury, CT, are charged with two felony counts of kidnapping for ransom and face a maximum sentence of life in state prison if convicted. Opening statements are expected to begin Monday, Nov. 7, 2011, at 10:00 a.m. in Department C-39, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
This is a re-trial of this case, as Eid and Oliveira were previously convicted by a jury on these charges on March 19, 2008. On Oct. 19, 2010, the California Court of Appeals, Fourth Appellate District, Division Three, overturned the conviction due to a jury instruction error based on missing CALCRIM language related to kidnapping for ransom. The case was prosecuted by then-Deputy District Attorney Andre Manssourian.
In 2005, a Brazilian national living in the United States illegally arranged with a smuggler to bring his 24-year-old wife Ana R. and his 5-year-old son Iago R. from Sao Paolo, Brazil, to Florida for $14,000. Jefferson R. paid the smuggler and Ana R. and Iago R. flew to Mexico, to begin the process of entering the United States. The victims were passed from one smuggler to another as they made their way through Mexico and eventually across the border into California.
On Nov. 21, 2005, Eid and Oliveira are accused of picking the victims up at a drop-off point at a gas station in Costa Mesa. The defendants are accused of driving Ana R. and Iago R. to a Travelodge on Newport Boulevard in Costa Mesa and checking into a motel room. That afternoon, the defendants are accused of contacting Jefferson R. in Florida and demanding Jefferson R. pay an additional $14,000.
On Thursday, Nov. 24, 2005, Eid and Oliveira are accused of telling Ana R. that they would take her and Iago R. to New York to work off their debt instead of re-uniting her with her husband if the defendants did not receive the additional $14,000 by that evening.
The victim’s husband called a woman in Orange County, who was associated with a friend of Jefferson R., and asked that she go to the hotel to try and help the victims escape. When the woman went to the Travelodge, Eid is accused of confronting and arguing with her. He is accused of refusing to release the victims without payment. Eid is accused of then returning to the room and making intimidating statements to frighten the victims.