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Man allegedly plotted to kidnap O.C. child

April 1, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
A man who claims he's a former Tijuana police officer is accused of plotting to kidnap the child of a wealthy Orange County family.The FBI says 23-year-old Cesar Zapata-Landeros has been indicted and is being held without bail.

Investigators say Zapata told an informant he planned to run a woman's car off the road as she drove her children to school and kidnap one of the kids. Then he allegedly planned to demand a $300,000 ransom, or else he would cut off two of the child's fingers and send them to the family.

Federal prosecutors said Zapata rented a storage garage where he claimed he would keep the child. He told the informant he had been involved in other kidnappings.

Prosecutors said the kidnapping had been planned for mid-March.

FBI officials and Westminster police arrested Zapata on March 16 near the family's home.

Zapata faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.