Illegal immigrant, companion found guilty of kidnapping FBI employee
Central American men were trafficking drugs in Indian Country
A federal jury in Rapid City found two men from Central America guilty Tuesday night of carjacking and kidnapping an FBI employee, capping a harrowing escape in Indian Country.
The verdict followed a six-day trial. Besides finding Juan Francisco Alvarez-Soto guilty of kidnapping and carjacking, the jury convicted him of illegally re-entering the country after previously being deported. Alvarez-Soto was from El Salvador, while his fellow defendant, Deyvin Morales, was from Guatemala.
The two were also found guilty of using a firearm in the furtherance of a crime and guilty of possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. Alvarez-Soto was prohibited from having a firearm because he was in the country illegally, while Morales was a convicted felon.
The two men were indicted on May 19, 2022 for their role in kidnapping Curt Lauinger. Both had traveled to South Dakota from Colorado to traffic drugs. They escaped law enforcement in a high-speed chase and hid out in Red Shirt. After determining they needed a new car, they decided to carjack a vehicle.