ORANGE - 12News has learned that Orange County Sheriff’s Deputies have made arrests in the kidnapping of an attorney from Orange County.
A spokesperson for the Orange County Sheriff’s Office told 12News three men were arrested in connection with the kidnapping of attorney Jim Sharon Bearden Jr,
Bearden, Jr. was abducted May 8 from his home off of 1442 in Orange County. He was awakened by two masked intruders. The men tied him up and took several items from his home including guns and electronics. The men then forced Bearded into his own car and drove him to Port Arthur. Bearden was then forced to withdraw cash from a bank. Afterwards he was released with his vehicle.
Detectives from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division were able to identify the two suspects that entered the house, and a third suspect who was driving a vehicle and acted as a lookout.
On Friday, detectives found all three suspects in Port Arthur. Captain Cliff Hargrave said all three subjects confessed.
The three were arrested for burglary of a habitation, a 1st degree felony and taken to the Jefferson County jail. They are expected to be transferred to the Orange County Jail today.
All three suspects are from Honduras. Investigators determined that all three are undocumented immigrants. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has placed immigration detainers on them.
The suspects are identified as German Adalid Borjas-Benitez, 19; Henrry Eduar Rivera-Antunez, 17, and Erik Pagoada-Bustillo, 17.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office CID was assisted in this investigation by the Port Arthur Police Department; the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office; the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office; the Orange County District Attorney’s Office; the U.S. Department of Homeland Security; U. S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Bearden, Jr. offered a statement to 12News saying: "I want to thank the men and women of the Orange County Sheriff's Department for their hard work, crime solving skills, and collegiality. I will forever be in their debt."
Probable Cause affidavit:
On May 8th at 8:15 am Bearden was asleep in the upstairs bedroom of his residence when he was awakened and observed two masked subjects entering through the door to the bedroom. One subject was armed with a baseball bat and was much larger than the second man who was armed with a pistol, stated Bearden.
The man with the bat told Bearden to lay on his stomach with his hands behind his back then used a cut lamp cord, a phone charging cord, and a cut computer charging cord to secure his hands behind his back.
The shorter man with the pistol asked where the cash was located inside the house and Bearden directed him to a small amount of cash in the bathroom. The man returned and put the gun to Bearden’s head and threatened to kill him. He then asked Bearden “why are you lying? We kill people for fun.”
Each time the man with the pistol would leave the room Bearden would beg the larger man with the bat not to kill him. Bearden says the man would reply “chill” or “just chill.”
The man with the pistol used Bearden’s phone to access his capital one account and check the balance. The man initially wanted Bearden to call his wife and tell her to get the money. Bearden stated he didn’t want his wife involved and promised to get the money for them.
The men cut the ties holding Bearden’s hands and told him to get dressed. The larger man then escorted Bearden downstairs and into the third row seat of his suburban where they put him face down on the seat and put a ski mask on him backwards so that he could not see. Bearden claims that they made two different stops in the suburban. Beard believes they unloaded what they took from his home during the stops.
Bearden stated that the men told him that he was going to the bank alone. They gave him a phone and told him to keep it on face time while he drove to the bank. The men told Bearden someone would be watching and would kill him and his family if he did anything stupid.
While at the bank Bearden said he purposely alerted the teller something was wrong.
The suspects told Bearden to go to a different location when he left the bank. When Bearden informed them he didn’t know where it was, he was instructed to check a text on the phone for the location. That’s when Bearden says he scrolled through text messages and found one that appeared to be an electronic payment. Bearden copied the receipt and sent it to his personal phone via text message.
Bearden then drove to the location he was instructed and dropped the money and the phone out of the window then drove away and pressed his on star button and told them he had been kidnapped.
Police used the receipt Bearden sent to his phone to track the account and phone number with metro pcs to German Borjas. Police also learned that the phone number was listed on Borjas’ personal information when he was arrested on outstanding warrants on May 7th.
Borjas was released from jail on May 8th at 2:54 am. At the time of the May 7th arrest of Borjas he was driving a white infiniti g35. Henrry eduar rivera and erik pagoada bustillo were also in the vehicle and officers learned the suspects were carrying bb pistols when they were stopped.
Video footage from Bearden’s neighborhood showed footage of a white infiniti g35 in the area with Bearden’s vehicle on the date of the burglary and kidnapping.
Footage from BASF refinery on highway 73 also showed the same white infiniti traveling with Bearden’s vehicle as it entered Port Arthur.
Detectives located the white infiniti in the 2900 block of 17th street in Port Arthur on May 12th.
Borjas-benitez was driving the vehicle. He was transported to the Jefferson county courthouse where he was Mirandized and interviewed.
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