United Kingdom

8 more people charged in kidnapping of migrants that ended in Houston shooting

Eight people have been charged with federal crimes in connection with the March kidnapping of a group of migrants that began with a highway gunbattle and ended days later with FBI agents fatally shooting a suspect at a Houston hotel, officials announced Tuesday.

The abductions began as a human smuggling effort in a South Texas border city but morphed into a kidnapping during a shootout on a rural stretch of interstate west of Houston, federal officials said. Three migrants were wounded by gunfire and three others were taken captive, beaten and held for days for ransom, the officials said.

Six of the eight people charged in connection with the smuggling and kidnapping have been taken into custody but two remain at large and are considered dangerous, said U.S. Attorney Alamdar Hamdani. He said the FBI is offering a $5,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest of Santiago Hernandez Jr., 26, and Lorie Lin Flowers, 25, who are charged with aiding and abetting kidnapping and believed to be in Eagle Pass, Texas, or in a nearby area of Mexico.