By Cass Rains, Staff Writer
Enid News & Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
Three people arrested last week on complaints relating to the kidnapping of a 38-year-old Enid woman for what authorities said was a bad drug deal appeared in court Thursday for arraignment.
Pablo J. Marti Ramirez DeArellao, 27; Jose Antonio Valentin Crespo, 26; and April Renea Ash, 37, all appeared via video from county jail before Special District Judge Brian Lovell.
DeArellao was arraigned on felony count of kidnapping for purposes of extortion and assault with a dangerous weapon.
Crespo was arraigned on a count of kidnapping for purposes of extortion.
Ash was arraigned on a count of endeavoring to possess a controlled dangerous substance, methamphetamine.
DeArellao and Crespo face no less than 10 years imprisonment or death on the kidnapping charge. DeArellao also faces up to 10 years imprisonment or a year in county jail on the assault. Ash faces two to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
According to an affidavit filed in the cases, Enid Police Department received a call at 5:09 a.m. March 27 from a man wanting to report a possible hostage situation in the 6000 block of North Davis.
The man told police he’d been receiving calls from a female friend who was claiming to be held hostage over a bad drug deal. He said he’s received several phone calls from the woman asking him to bring her $250. She told the man three men were holding her at knifepoint demanding the money, according to the affidavit.
While police were speaking to the man he received another phone call from the woman. Officers were able to listen in on the call, and using police records, they were able to obtain her exact address.
Police went to the address and had the man call the woman. While the man was speaking with the woman and one of the men, officers were outside the woman’s apartment.
The caller asked the men to come outside so he could give them the money. The rear door of the apartment opened, and the woman being held started to come outside, according to the affidavit. Officers approached the door and announced their presence. The door began to close, but the officers were able to get the woman outside and make entry into the apartment, according to the affidavit.
Police ordered DeArellao and Crespo to the ground as they entered and found Ash and Robert Figueroa, who both had outstanding arrest warrants, downstairs in the apartment, according to the affidavit. All four were taken into custody.
Police spoke with the woman who was being held, and she pointed to two large kitchen-type knives near the refrigerator. The knives were measured at 12.5 and 13 inches in length, according to the affidavit.
The woman told police she was contacted by Ash, who asked her whether she could get some meth, according to the affidavit. The woman said she called someone she only knows as Tessa and arranged to purchase some meth.
The woman said Ash came over to her apartment at about 2:30 a.m. with DeArellao, and she took DeArellao’s money outside, where she purchased the meth from Tessa, according to the affidavit. After Tessa left, the woman gave DeArellao the meth. She told police DeArellao decided it was not meth, and he demanded his money back, according to the affidavit.
The woman said she called Tessa several times, but Tessa did not answer her phone, according to the affidavit. She said DeArellao was angry and demanding his money back. DeArellao left Ash with the woman and left the apartment.
DeArellao returned about 10 minutes later with Crespo and Figueroa. The woman said DeArellao picked up two knives she keeps by the door to keep it locked by jamming the knives into the doorjamb. DeArellao gave one of the knives to Crespo, who stood by the door holding the knife, according to the affidavit.
The woman said DeArellao held the knife to her while demanding his money “or else,” according to the affidavit. She said DeArellao continued to demand his money and told the woman he had nothing to lose.
The woman told police she was scared by this and thought DeArellao might kill her if she did not come up with the money, according to the affidavit. She said she called her friend to see whether he would give her the money. She said this continued until officers came into her apartment.
The woman showed her cellphone call log, which showed calls to Tessa, from Ash and to her friend as she indicated, according to the affidavit.
Figueroa initially told police DeArellao had asked him to go to a house, but did not say why he wanted him to go, according to the affidavit. He later said DeArellao came over and picked him up, saying they were going to collect some money. He said on they way over, they picked up Crespo.
Figueroa said on the way to the house, DeArellao and Crespo spoke in Spanish, but he did not know what they were saying because he doesn’t speak Spanish. He said the reason he went was to prevent anything bad from happening.
At the apartment, Figueroa said DeArellao held a knife and threatened the woman, while Crespo stood by the door. Figueroa said he went downstairs to get out of the situation.
Speaking through an interpreter, DeArellao denied threatening the woman and said they went to the apartment “for no particular reason,” according to the affidavit.
DeArellao then admitted he used meth and said the woman had sold him some “dope” that was fake, according to the affidavit. He said the woman now owed him more than $200 for the transaction. However, DeArellao denied demanding the money from the woman.
DeArellao said he had taken Ash over to the apartment earlier in the night, but denied any argument taking place, according to the affidavit.
When police spoke with Ash, she said she walked over to the woman’s apartment and had never met DeArellao prior to that night, according to the affidavit. When police asked to see her cellphone’s call log to verify her story, she said her phone does not have a SIM card and does not work.
DeArellao and Crespo are being held in lieu of $250,000 bond each. Ash is being held in lieu of $125,000 bond. All three were ordered to return to court May 6 for bond appearances.