They abducted their victim at gunpoint in broad daylight in Berwyn.
They blindfolded him. They demanded a ransom. And they threatened to cut off his fingers.
Then the kidnappers realized they had “a little situation”: They kidnapped the wrong guy. They wanted his brother.
“Let the guy go,” Antonio Salgado allegedly said. “But beat the sh– out of him.”
Now Salgado, 34, Armando Delgado, 36, Octavio Alejandre Jr., 33, Jaime Gutierrez, 22, and Munaf Abdulrazak Musa, 22, are all in federal custody and charged with conspiracy to commit kidnapping — a charge that carries a maximum sentence of life in prison. The feds say the victim was held for nearly two days in an auto body shop in the Avondale neighborhood.
The kidnapping went down the afternoon of May 30, 2015, when the victim was forced at gunpoint into an SUV. It happened outside his home in the 1500 block of South Gunderson in the western suburb. The feds say the victim’s brother had been waiting for him in a car outside and saw what happened.
Early the next morning, the victim’s uncle said a man who identified himself only as “the Ugly Ones” began calling and demanded, in Spanish, 25 “playeras” — or shirts — which the feds say is common code for drugs in kilograms. The feds say they put the victim on the phone to tell his uncle to cooperate.
The kidnappers realized they had the wrong victim later that night. Meanwhile, authorities had already been investigating the men for other crimes, and they recorded their phone conversations as they tried to decide what to do with their victim.
“Beat the sh– out of the guy tonight and cut him loose instead of coming back,” Salgado allegedly told Delgado. “Make this look as if this is a job from Mexico, and they’ll know not to bullish–.”
Delgado said they “need a car right away.”
“Have someone steal the car. Put that f—er in the stolen car, and if push comes to shove, burn the f—ing car. Make it work, and beat the sh– out of the dude and make him know that ‘we come from down there [Mexico].’ ”
The feds say the men considered killing the victim. But the victim turned up instead at a Chicago bus station June 1. He told police he had been kidnapped, held and released during the night.
When Delgado was arrested that same day, he excitedly told Berwyn police, “We grabbed the wrong brother and released him already.”