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Woman, Nephew Rescued Day After Abduction

March 24, 1991

RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. (AP) _ A woman and her 3-year-old nephew, kidnapped by two men impersonating FBI agents, were rescued unharmed Saturday by police officers who ran up to a truck and set them free, authorities said.

Four people were arrested on kidnapping and false imprisonment charges.

Authorities said Maritzabel Lanza, 32, of Miami and her nephew Eliseo Espaillat Jr. were abducted in Hialeah Friday morning by two men who flashed fake FBI badges and lured them into the back of a car.

They were then transferred to a truck and taken to Riviera Beach, where they were kept in the truck in handcuffs, said Hialeah police Det. Ralph Gracia.

Authorities believe the kidnappings were connected to failed payments in a drug deal involving Lanza’s brother, whom they would not identify.

″Apparently they used the aunt and the boy as tools to negotiate,″ Gracia said.

Gracia said police tracked the kidnappers to a Riviera Beach house from which several calls were made demanding ransoms ranging from $300,000 to $240,000. The truck was parked in the driveway.

Lanza said she wasn’t entirely sure she and her nephew had been kidnapped until Palm Beach County sheriff’s SWAT members flung open the back door of the truck Saturday afternoon.

″I knew something was wrong because of the long drive, but they showed me identification and had a red light on the car,″ she said of the abductors.

Myron Mungin, 31, of Manhattan, and Manuel Quiles, 40, of Miami, were charged with two counts each of kidnapping. Walter Jones, 64, and Darlene Doby, 27, both of Riviera Beach, were charged with two counts each of false imprisonment.

Gracia said more arrests were expected, but would not elaborate.

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