Home Jackson Press Releases 2013 FBI Makes Arrest in Alleged Kidnapping Case

FBI Makes Arrest in Alleged Kidnapping Case

FBI Jackson February 21, 2013
  • Public Affairs Specialist Deborah Madden (601) 948-5000

On February 21, 2013, FBI special agents arrested DIEGO RALIOS CORTEZ,  aka YONATAN FLORES and JONATHAN FLORES, (CORTEZ) in connection with the alleged kidnapping of a minor from Crystal Springs, Mississippi on February 17, 2013.

Daniel McMullen, Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the FBI in Mississippi, stated that CORTEZ, age 23, of Northport, Alabama, was arrested following an investigation conducted by the FBI and the Crystal Springs, Mississippi Police Department. According to an affidavit and criminal complaint filed in federal court by the FBI, CORTEZ met a minor female from Crystal Springs, Mississippi on the social networking website Facebook. The two corresponded for approximately six months, during which time CORTEZ would drive to Crystal Springs to meet with the minor female. The affidavit further alleges that CORTEZ drove to Crystal Springs on February 17, 2013, picked up the minor female, and drove her to his home in Alabama. According to the Affidavit, after receiving a Facebook message concerning the ongoing search for the minor female, CORTEZ drove her back to Mississippi, and dropped her off at a restaurant in Byram on February 19, 2013. She was safely recovered at the restaurant that day by FBI special agents.

On February 19, 2013, Pearl Police Officers spotted Cortez’s vehicle and, following a traffic stop, identified the driver as JONATHAN FLORES (CORTEZ). CORTEZ was placed under arrest for kidnapping based on an arrest warrant obtained by the Crystal Springs Police Department and subsequently transported to the Rankin County Jail in Brandon, Mississippi.

CORTEZ is scheduled to make his initial appearance in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi in Jackson on February 21, 2013 at 2:30 p.m.

SAC McMullen stressed that complaints and arrests are accusations only and there is a presumption of innocence prior to any judicial proceeding.