Man pleads guilty to torturing teens in cartel's St. Paul drug house


One of four men accused of kidnapping and torturing two Minneapolis teens in an attempt to extract information about a Mexican cartel's missing drug stash pleaded guilty to a drug conspiracy charge, the Pioneer Press reports.

Jonatan Delgado Alvarez, 22, of Los Angeles, pleaded guilty Monday in a Minneapolis courtroom to federal charges of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

Alvarez reportedly said during his plea he was hired to fly from Los Angeles to the Twin Cities in April to retrieve stolen money. Court documents say when Alvarez arrived, he learned that he was to track down about 30 pounds of methamphetamine.

Various media outlets reported in May that during the attempted recovery, a 16-year-old and 19-year-old were kidnapped at gunpoint by the four suspects in south Minneapolis, and taken to a stash house in St. Paul's West Seventh neighborhood. It was there that teens were reportedly tied up, beaten and had their families threatened, and where one of them nearly had his finger cut off by one of the suspected assailants.

According to reports, the four suspects eventually determined the teens didn't have knowledge about the theft and were let go, bloodied and bruised, after a day.

Alvarez and the other suspects in the case – Ricardo Elenes Villavazo 32, and Antonio Navarro, 19, both of St. Paul; and Jesus Ramirez, 31, of Los Angeles – were charged in Ramsey County District Court last month with kidnapping, robbery and assault.

Alvarez and Navarro were arrested outside the house, and Ramirez was arrested days later in Los Angeles after police chase. Villavazo – whom Alvarez said in testimony attempted to cut off one of the teens' fingers – is still at large.

The Star Tribune said Navarro pleaded guilty in federal court to conspiring to distribute methamphetamine last month.

Alvarez faces 14-21 years in prison, and his charge carries a minimum of 10 years, according to federal sentencing guidelines. Navarro faces anywhere from 10 to 17 years in prison.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2020-11-25 at 7.34.43 AM

Watch: Drunk squirrel in Minnesota captures the world's attention

The squirrel was immediately cut off after nearly tipping over.

Screen Shot 2020-11-25 at 7.15.09 PM

Small town gym refusing to close facing lawsuit from attorney general

The gym is facing a lawsuit and a temporary restraining order to halt their operations.

credit card, payment

Money Gal Coaching: Bouncing back after living your best life

Kelly Blodgett started Money Gal Coaching after paying down nearly $50K in debt in 18 months.


When do stores open on Black Friday this year?

Many major retailers will be open Black Friday, some for extended hours.

police tape, crime scene

Man found dead outside home near Cass Lake

The man was reportedly shot outside the property.


Gov. Walz announces $1M in grants to boost Minnesota tourism

The money will be used for marketing efforts to attract people to Minnesota's hard-hit tourist spots.

coronavirus, ICU

Nov. 25 COVID-19 update: 72 deaths ties Minnesota's single-day high

A COVID-19 update will not be provided on Thanksgiving Day.


Revival to open its fourth Twin Cities location

The fried chicken and smoked meat maestros are moving to St. Louis Park.

Duluth and Case Recreation Center

St. Paul to open two extra temporary shelters for homeless people

Mayor Melvin Carter announced the new shelters will be opened in the event of excess demand.