SAN ADREAS, Calif. (WWSB) - Two women were arrested for kidnapping and enslaving four brothers to work on an illegal marijuana farm for six months, police say.
According to the Calaveras County Sheriff’s Department, 43-year-old Guadalupe Arellano “Lupe” and 44-year-old Medarda Urbieta were arrested and charged, on Sept. 14, for kidnapping, human trafficking, battery, terrorist threats, and drug charges.
Deputies say, two brothers were picked up by a woman near the city of Modesto in February. The woman, later identified by the victims as Guadalupe Arellano “Lupe”, promised the men a job landscaping a home in Calaveras County.
The brothers reported being transported to a home in West Point where they worked for several days before they were taken by force to a large nearby marijuana cultivation site where they were forced to work.
Lupe found out the victim's address in Modesto and contacted the victim’s family members.
According to the report, Lupe told the family that the captured brothers were working for her and had become involved in marijuana. She offered to take another two brothers to see the captured men, however, Lupe threatened that if they reported anything to law enforcement the brothers would be killed.
The other two went with Lupe and were reunited with their brothers, but with threats to the rest of their family they were forced to work on the farm as well.
In the days leading up to their escape the victims say they were beaten by their captors. They overheard their captors talking about killing them once the harvest was over, deputies say, and it was then that they decided to escape.
The brothers made their escape in late July, choosing to escape during the night. Once they were away from the marijuana farm and their captors they made their way to a nearby home. The owner of the home called the Calaveras County Sheriff’s Department. When deputies arrived to the home they found the four brothers with varying amounts of injury from bruises to a stabbing wound. All four were taken to the hospital for medical treatment.
In the investigation and search of the property that followed, police found guns, 10 thousand dollars in cash and more than 23 thousand marijuana plants worth up to 60 million dollars.