Federal authorities say two men have been charged in connection to the armed kidnapping of a New Jersey resident last month.

  • 27-year-old Julio Cesar Paniagua is facing one count of kidnapping. On Thursday, he appeared in Newark federal court and was detained.
  • 33-year-old Joel Ramon Garcia is also facing one count of kidnapping. He was arrested on November 20th and was also ordered held.

According to court documents, on November 15th, Paniagua and Garcia kidnapped the unidentified victim in Paterson and then drove the victim to Massachusetts where they held the victim for ransom.

During the kidnapping, officials say Paniagua and Garcia both brandished firearms.

Shortly after the kidnapping, the kidnappers contacted the victim’s father and threatened that the victim’s fingers would be cut off if the ransom was not paid.

The kidnappers ultimately released the victim on November 17th.

If convicted, each man faces up to life in prison and a $250,000 fine.

U.S. Attorney Philip Sellinger thanked the FBI; the Paterson, Clifton, and Cedar Grove Police Departments; the Passaic County Sheriff's Office, and the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office, for their assistance in this case.

The public is reminded that charges are accusations and all persons are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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