FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Charges have been filed against a “Coyote” from New Mexico after he allegedly kidnapped members of a migrant family he had been hired to transport from the U.S. border with Mexico to Fresno last week, according to the Fresno County District’s Attorney Office.

On Tuesday, DA officials announced charges had been filed against 31-year-old Christian Guadalupe Ortiz Coronado of Los Lunas, New Mexico, for the kidnapping for ransom of five victims.

Officials say on Friday, Ortiz Coronado kidnapped a mother along with her two young children and two adult males and refused to release them unless a family member paid additional funds. Coronado had been hired by the families to transport the victims from the United States border with Mexico to Fresno.

According to DA officials, when family members were unable to pay the extra money he asked for, the defendant left Fresno County with the victims. The defendant only returned to with the victims upon the promise of payment.

According to the DA’s office, the felony complaint filed in the Superior Court alleges that Christian Guadalupe Ortiz Coronado committed:

• Four (4) Counts of KIDNAPPING FOR RANSOM [Penal Code §209(a)];
• One (1) Count of ATTEMPTED KIDNAPPING FOR RANSOM [Penal Code §664/209(a)];
• One (1) Count of ATTEMPTED KIDNAPPING [Penal Code §664/207(a)];
• Two (2) Counts of CHILD ABUSE [Penal Code §273a(a)].

If convicted of all charges and allegations, officials say Ortiz Coronado faces life in prison with the possibility of parole.

The arraignment for the defendant is scheduled for Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. in Department 32 of the Fresno County Superior Court.