PHOENIX – LAWFUEL – The Legal Newswire – Bernardo Mancinas-Flores, 29, of Sinaloa, Mexico, was found guilty by a federal jury in Phoenix of Conspiracy to Take Hostages, Hostage Taking, Conspiracy to Harbor Illegal Aliens, Harboring Illegal Aliens, and Possessing and Using a Firearm during, and in relation to, a crime of violence. The case was tried before U.S. District Court Judge Roslyn O. Silver between August 21 through 29, 2007. The defendant will remain in custody pending sentencing which is set before Judge Silver on December 3, 2007.
Mancinas-Flores, along with at least two others, was part of a violent group of alien smugglers who, in October 2005, held at least 15 illegal aliens hostage at a house in Phoenix. While held hostage at gunpoint, one victim was beaten with fists, another was fondled by Mancinas-Flores, and all were threatened with death. During the hostage taking, Mancinas-Flores brandished a shotgun and threatened to cut the victims up into pieces and send them back to Mexico in a bag.
Convictions for Hostage Taking and Firearm charges carry a maximum penalty of life in prison years, a $250,000 fine or both. These penalties must be served consecutively. In determining an actual sentence, Judge Silver will consult the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide appropriate sentencing ranges. The judge, however, is not bound by those guidelines in determining a sentence.
The investigation leading to the guilty verdict was conducted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Phoenix Police Department. The prosecution was handled by Lisa Jennis Settel and Lynne Ingram, Assistant U.S. Attorneys, District of Arizona, Phoenix.
CASE NUMBER: CR-5-1086-PHX-ROS
RELEASE NUMBER: 2007-192(Mancinas-Flores)