MCALLEN (KFXV) — Today, a federal jury convicted a Pharr man for taking two Honduran nationals hostage, and harboring undocumented people.

According to officials, it took the jury less than 45 minutes to convict 32-year-old, Jesus Manuel Ramirez. Witnesses — including two of the victims — testified that on May 4th 2014, Ramirez along with several other individuals, beat and threatened to kill his victims because their families hadn’t paid their smuggling fees.
During the trial, the jury saw a video a family member captured when Ramirez and his accomplices then restrained and beat his two victims.

One of the victims eventually escaped and contacted his brother who then contacted I.C.E. officials.

The Honduran man who escaped led I.C.E. officials to the place Ramirez and his three accomplices held him at. The three co-conspirators were arrested there, and border officials eventually arrested Ramirez in August of last year as he attempted to cross into the United States from Mexico.

Ramirez will receive his sentence in July. He faces life in prison for his hostage conviction and up to ten years for harboring undocumented people. His three accomplices all entered guilty pleas and have been sentenced.