Feds Arrest Grandfather of Kidnapped 6-year-old Cole

by michael Webster - Date: 2008-10-18 - Word Count: 567 Share This!

The FBI and U.S. Marshalls arrested a man in Riverside late Friday night in connection with a Las Vegas child kidnapping case. 6-year-old Cole Puffinburger 51-year-old Clemens Clemons Fred  Tinnemeyer, 51, the grandfather of a kidnapped 6-year-old Nevada boy, was arrested by the FBI's fugitive task force in Riverside, said Laura Eimiller, a spokeswoman for the FBI in Los Angeles.

Tinnemeyer is being held on a federal material witness warrant, she said. Eimiller said she did not know whether Tinnemeyer lived in Riverside but said information indicated he was in the area.Las Vegas police report they have another suspect in jail and are showing a photo of Jesus Gastelum.During a news conference this afternoon, Metro Police said investigators are looking for Jesus Gastelum, who was identified as a "person of interest."Capt. Vincent Cannito said Gastelum isn't related to Cole Puffinburger, who was taken at gunpoint at about 7:15 a.m. Wednesday Capt. Cannito, said "that several warrants have been issued and executed where large amounts of cash, drugs and other evidence has been uncovered."

Law enforcement is still keeping information close to the vest and more details are expected some time later.

Tinnemeyer is being held in the Central Detention Center in San Bernardino, under a federal hold.

The facility is a federal holding jail, said San Bernardino sheriff's spokeswoman Jodi Miller. The sheriff's department is not otherwise involved in the arrest or the case or has any knowledge of the Cole boys whereabouts she said. Tinnemeyer is expected to be transferred soon to another unknown jail and remain in protective custody for his own protection.

Federal law enforcement officers said they believe the child's kidnapping is linked to international drug dealings. Tinnemeyer is suspected of dealing drugs in Las Vegas and elsewhere and having ties with a well known Mexican drug cartel and Mexican drug gangs.

The boy, Cole Puffinburger, was abducted from a Las Vegas home Wednesday morning by three men posing as police officers. Police said they believe the men were Mexican drug dealers and that the kidnapping at gunpoint was a "message" to Tinnemeyer.According to police Tinnemeyer allegedly stole millions of dollars from a powerful Mexican drug cartel out of Tijuana, Baja Mexico and believe as a result a contract hit was ordered.

Unconfirmed reports say Tinnemeyer turned himself in rather than be found by the Mexican cartels assassination team. It is believed that Tinnemeyer played a major roll in the distribution and sells of drugs in Nevada, California, Arizona, Texas and New Mexico. Federal officials say they believe the kidnappers were attempting to locate Tinnemeyer to collect the debt or to take other serious action, but because Tinnemeyer was not there the Mexican gangsters took Cole and were seeking a ransom as payback and would trade Cole for the amount owed. Police believe methamphetamine and other drugs was involved, Johnson said.

Mysteriously Nevada transportation officials canceled the alert for Cole on Saturday morning. It is not clear if Cole has been found. However those in a position to know say he must be alright and his whereabouts is known and he most likely is under the control and safety of authorities, or something worse. It also could mean officials fear he is dead.

Currently there is a massive hunt on the ground, by police, sheriff deputies, National guard and public volunteers in the desert north east of Vegas.

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Related Tags: las vegas, mexican drug cartels, cole kidnapping, las vegas drugs

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