By Kevin Wilson: CNJ Staff Writer
PORTALES — A kidnapping victim duped his captors, telling them to wait in his pickup truck while he got them some money, and instead had a coworker notify authorities while he hid, according to court documents.
Two Clovis men were arrested Friday in connection with the incident that ended at the Milk Transport Service plant in Portales.
Michael B. Olivas, 25, and James Gutierrez, 44, are charged with kidnapping, extortion, felon in possession of a firearm and conspiracy charges related to kidnapping and extortion.
Gutierrez was charged with the unlawful taking of a vehicle, and Olivas was also charged with aggravated battery and shooting at or from a motor vehicle.
Both are in the Roosevelt County Detention Center on $60,000 bond.
According to an affidavit for an arrest warrant, a 911 call was placed from MTS by a yard foreman in reference to shots fired in the parking lot. The possible victim, Joel Dotson, was hiding in an office in the truck shop.
Dotson told police he was approached Friday afternoon at his Clovis residence by four males, including Olivas and Gutierrez. Dotson said he was told that he had “snitched out” a friend of Gutierrez’ and owed him money, according to court documents.
According to the warrant affidavit, Dotson was forced into his vehicle, where Olivas and Gutierrez joined him. Dotson drove to MTS and said he would give the two his paycheck to settle the debt.
Portales Police Capt. Lonnie Berry said the department doesn’t believe Dotson knew Olivas or Gutierrez well, or that he owed them a significant debt.
“We don’t think he had much contact previously,” Berry said.
According to statements given to officers, Olivas was carrying a 12-gauge shotgun wrapped in a sweatshirt. The gun went off when Dotson drove over a rough road, according to court documents.
Dotson told the two to wait in the parking lot while he got the check from the main office, according to court documents. Instead, he told a supervisor of the situation and had him contact police while he left out the back door and hid in the truck shop.
“Once he was able to get away from them,” Berry said, “(he was smart to) just have somebody call the police and let us handle it quickly.”
Gutierrez slid into the driver’s seat and drove away, but was caught by an officer east of the plant, according to court documents. Upon execution of a search warrant on the pickup, officers found a loaded 12-gauge shotgun, a bullet hole in the left passenger door and a sweatshirt with signs of burning and gunpowder, according to documents.
During a search of the suspects, Gutierrez was found with an empty 12-gauge shell in his back left pocket and several more live shells in his front pockets.