Federal agents rescued a South Carolina man who was allegedly kidnapped by a Mexican drug cartel for declining to pay them for a large shipment of marijuana

The New York Daily News reports that the unidentified man was taken captive Jul. 9 as he drove to work. The FBI says that both the man and his father were drug mules for the syndicate, responsible for running marijuana, coke, and money through South Carolina and North Carolina. He reportedly received a package worth $200,000 worth of marijuana, and, despite delivering it to the dealer, did not pay the cartel.

The cartel soon began placing ransom calls to the man's family, demanding as much as $400,000 in exchange for his safe return. The FBI was able to trace the calls to a home in North Carolina, where the man was found.

Agents arrested Ruben Ceja-Rangel, 57, Luis Castro Villeda, 22, and Juan Manuel Fuentes-Morales. All three appeared in federal court yesterday after being charged with conspiracy to kidnap. The kidnapping victim has yet to be charged, and his reason for not paying the cartel remains unknown at this time. 

[via New York Daily News]

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