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California Briefing / Costa Mesa

Human traffickers sentenced to life

March 07, 2009|Tony Barboza

Two human traffickers were sentenced to life in prison Friday for kidnapping a woman and her 5-year-old son and holding them for ransom in a Costa Mesa motel room.

An Orange County jury last year found Reynaldo Junior Eid, 49, of New York City and Alaor Docarmo Oliveira Jr., 55, of Danbury, Conn., guilty of two counts of kidnapping for ransom.

In November 2005, Eid and Oliveira demanded that a Brazilian national who was living in the United States illegally pay them $14,000 to finish smuggling his 24-year-old wife and 5-year-old son from Sao Paulo, Brazil, prosecutors said.

The man had paid $14,000 to a previous smuggler, but mother and son were passed from one smuggler to another as they crossed through Mexico and into the United States before arriving at a Costa Mesa gas station.

Eid and Oliveira picked them up and checked into the Travelodge on Newport Boulevard in Costa Mesa, where they made phone calls demanding the ransom. A friend of the husband called police, who arrived as the smugglers tried to flee with the victims.

The family is now living in Florida. As victims of a crime, they are eligible to apply for U.S. residency.

-- Tony Barboza

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