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3 Mexican drug cartel members indicted in South Carolina kidnapping

Three men affiliated with a Mexican drug cartel have been indicted on charges of kidnapping a South Carolina man and holding him for ransom for nearly a week in a dispute over $200,000 in marijuana, according to federal officials.

Early July 9, authorities said the three men, posing as police officers, pulled the man over as he was going to work in his hometown of St. Matthews, about 30 miles southeast of Columbia.

In a news release Wednesday, U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles announced the indictments of Juan Manuel Fuentes-Morales and Ruben Ceja-Rangel, both of Mexico, and Luis Castro-Villeda of Garland, North Carolina. They are charged with conspiracy to commit kidnapping, substantive kidnapping and hostage taking for ransom, among other charges, the prosecutor said.

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