All 3 Defendants Given Long Sentences In Carjacking/Kidnapping Of FBI Victim Specialist


   An El Salvadoran man, Colorado woman, and Guatemalan man have all been sentenced to lengthy terms in federal prison on convictions for carjacking and kidnapping an FBI employee on the Pine Ridge Reservation 2 years ago.

     25-year old Juan Alvarez-Sorto of El Salvador was given 37-years 3 weeks ago while Deyvin Morales of Guatemala and Karla Lopez-Gutierrez of Kersey, CO – both 29 – were sentenced Friday. Morales received 47 years and Lopez-Gutierrez 26.

      Prosecutors said the trio left Colorado on May 5, 2022, on a “drug trafficking trip” to South Dakota. As their SUV was running out of gas on the reservation, they pulled over and Morales told the others they needed to “take over” a new vehicle

      A short time later, when an FBI Victim Specialist returning to his Rapid City office from an unrelated investigation near Oglala passed the SUV, they turned on their lights and pulled out behind him.

      Believing he was being pulled over by tribal law enforcement, he stopped on the side of the road only to find Alvarez-Sorto pointing a rifle at him and ordering him to get out and then to lie face-down in the back. 

      The gun was held to the back of his head while was told if he cooperated he would be safe, but if he did not, they would come after his family and that they knew where he lived because they had his identification.

      When his captors stopped to buy gas and zip-ties at a convenience store in Hermosa, the man decided to try to escape and crawled over Morales and fought his way out of the car. Morales grabbed his jacket and he fell, but managed to get to his feet and ran to safety inside the store. 

     The trio took off in the FBI vehicle, but soon abandoned it in Rapid City. All were later caught in Colorado, Morales and Alvarez-Sorto after a week and Lopez-Gutierrez 3 months after that. 

     Lopez-Gutierrez pleaded guilty last August while Alvarez-Sorto and Morales were convicted by a jury in January. In handing down the sentences, Federal Judge Karen Schrier called the crime among the most horrendous she’s seen as a judge

      Special Agent in Charge Alvin Winston Sr of the FBI’s Minneapolis office said justice had been served by the lengthy sentences, which  reaffirm the FBI’s steadfast commitment to protecting its personnel from acts of violence and intimidation

        Agent Winston also said the FBI extends its gratitude to the prosecutors and law enforcement partners for their unwavering dedication. Ten local, state, federal, and tribal agencies were all involved in the case.