Aprosecutor for the National Unity Against Kidnapping and Extortion said that Heli ‘Martin Sombra’ Mejia Mendoza, would be charged with the crimes of conspiracy and aggravated kidnapping for ransom.
U.S. contractors Keith Donald Stansell, Marc Goncalves and Thomas R Howes were kidnapped by the FARC on 13 February 2003, when members of the mobile column Teofilo Forero shot down their plane which was flying over the Caqueta jungle. After crash-landing, pilot Tommy Janis and Army sergeant Luis Alcides Cruz were murdered.
According to investigators, the prisoners were kept in Mejia Mendoza’s custody for five years, as they were part of the group famously liberated on 2 July 2008 in “Operation Jaque” along with presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt.
Mejia Mendoza was apprehended by Sijin agents in Saboyá (Boyacá) on 27 February 2008, reported radio station La F.M.
As part of the same investigation, prosecutors said that José Armando Cadena Cabrera would be charged with kidnapping for ransom, conspiracy, and aggravated murder. Cardena Cabrera allegedly participated in the attack on the plane and was responsible for the murders of Tommy Janis and sergeant Cruz.
Both Mejia Mendoza and Cardena Cabrera are being held without bail.