Colombian man extradited from Chile to America for kidnapping, assaulting U.S. Army soldiers in home country

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A 47-year-old Colombian, Pedro Jose Silva Ochoa also known as Tata, has been extradited from Chile to the United States to face charges related to kidnapping and assaulting two U.S. Army soldiers who were on temporary duty in Bogota, Colombia.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) said in a Thursday statement that Silva Ochoa was extradited on Wednesday, April 17.

The defendant made his initial court appearance Thursday in Miami, Florida, before Magistrate Judge Jonathan Goodman of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

According to court documents, Silva Ochoa and his co-conspirators targeted, incapacitated, and kidnapped two U.S. soldiers in Bogota in order to rob them of their valuables.

The DoJ said, “On the evening of March 5, 2020, the two victims went to an entertainment district in Bogota to watch a soccer game.

“They visited a pub, where one of Silva Ochoa’s co-conspirators incapacitated the two victims by putting drugs, including benzodiazepines, in their drinks.

“Silva Ochoa’s co-conspirators then escorted the victims into a waiting car driven by Silva Ochoa, kidnapped them, and took their wallets, debit cards, credit cards, and cell phones.

“Silva Ochoa and his co-conspirators used one victim’s credit card and the other victim’s debit card to make purchases and withdraw money.

“The two victims lost consciousness until the following day, by which point they had been separated.”

The DoJ said Silva Ochoa is charged with kidnapping an internationally protected person, conspiracy to kidnap an internationally protected person, assaulting an internationally protected person, and conspiracy to assault an internationally protected person.

If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of life in prison.

One of Silva Ochoa’s co-defendants, Jeffersson Arango Castellanos, was extradited from Colombia to the United States in April 2023 and pleaded guilty in January to the charges in the indictment, the DoJ said.

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