Man arrested in Mexico in 2009 abduction of 3-year-old Briant Rodriguez
Israel Ledesma Moreno is seen in an FBI poster.
January 14th, 2011
12:29 PM ET

Man arrested in Mexico in 2009 abduction of 3-year-old Briant Rodriguez

Mexican authorities have arrested a man sought in connection with the 2009 kidnapping of a 3-year-old boy from his home in San Bernardino, California.

Israel Ledesma Moreno, 29, was arrested in Guadalajara on Thursday night on a provisional warrant after FBI agents in Riverside, California, working with Mexican authorities developed information leading to his whereabouts, FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said.

Moreno was one of two men charged in Briant Rodriguez' abduction at gunpoint on May 3, 2009. Two armed men burst into the boy's San Bernardino home and tied up his family before taking him, a small amount of money and some items from the home, the FBI said at the time. His abduction triggered an Amber Alert and set off a nationwide search as his family pleaded for his safe return. Two weeks later, the boy was found wandering the streets of Mexicali, Mexico, malnourished and his full head of hair completely shaven. He was returned to his family in California.

A state arrest warrant was issued in San Bernardino on May 15, 2009, after Moreno and his alleged accomplice, Liberato Cardenas-Vega, were charged with kidnapping. The same day, they were charged federally with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution and an arrest warrant was issued by the United States District Court, Central District of California, according to the FBI. Cardenas-Vega was killed in a shootout in Mexico last year, the FBI said.

Cardenas-Vega, who police considered the primary suspect, had four convictions in 2005 for a variety of charges including driving under the influence. A burglary case against him was dismissed, and he had two open cases against him for driving under the influence, providing false information to police and driving without a license. Moreno was convicted in 2008 for driving under the influence.

The style of the kidnapping drew comparisons to the work of Mexican drug cartels, but officials have not specified a motive for the abduction. No one in his family has been charged in connection with the abduction.

Moreno will be held by Mexican authorities while the United States undertakes the extradition process.

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Filed under: California • Crime • Mexico
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. stacie

    Now this is why i am an over protective mom. i would go absolutely crazy if my kids ever got abducted. that is the saddest situation to go through. my heart goes out to all oparents who lost a child.

    January 15, 2011 at 3:01 am | Report abuse |
  2. ney

    Watch your children!!

    January 15, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
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