Colombian extradited to Florida for kidnapping U.S. soldiers

The Justice Department building in Washington, DC. The dept. announced the extradition of a Colombian national to Florida for kidnapping U.S. Army soldiers. Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI

April 18 (UPI) -- A Colombian national has been extradited from Chile to the U.S to face kidnapping and assault charges in connection with two U.S. Army soldiers who were on temporary duty in Bogota, Colombia, the Justice Dept. said.

Pedro Jose Silva Ochoa, also known as Tata, 47, of Bogota and his co-conspirators targeted, incapacitated, and kidnapped two U.S. soldiers in Bogota in order to rob them of their valuables, according to court documents.

On the evening of March 5, 2020, the two victims went to an entertainment district in Bogota to watch a soccer game. They visited a pub, where one of Silva Ochoa's co-conspirators incapacitated the two victims by putting drugs, including benzodiazepines, in their drinks.

Silva Ochoa's co-conspirators then escorted the victims into a waiting car driven by Silva Ochoa, kidnapped them, and took their wallets, debit cards, credit cards, and cell phones. Silva Ochoa and his co-conspirators used one victim's credit card and the other victim's debit card to make purchases and withdraw money. The two victims lost consciousness until the following day, by which point they had been separated, court documents said.

Silva Ochoa is charged with kidnapping an internationally protected person, conspiracy to kidnap an internationally protected person, assaulting an internationally protected person, and conspiracy to assault an internationally protected person. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of life in prison.