Residents 'Shocked' by Kidnapping and Arrests

St. Matthews, SC (WLTX)- News of an kidnapping in their town with international ties took many people in the small town of St. Matthews by surprise.

According to the FBI, the 23-year-old victim was taken on July 9th and transported to North Carolina. Court documents claim he was involved with a Mexican drug trafficking operation, and he was kidnapped on the orders of leaders in the foreign country and held for ransom.

Previous Coverage: FBI: Kidnapping Involved Mexican Drug Trafficking

"I was shocked, you don't get that kind of stuff going on here." said Jorell Howell.

Howell has lived in St. Matthews his entire life.

"For the most part it is family oriented , quiet and fun," said Howell.

Howell says clients told him about the 23 year old St. Matthews man being kidnapped out of his truck.

"Just basically saying someone was kidnapped here in town and I said 'kidnapped? that doesn't sound like St. Matthews to me'

"For the FBI to be here that is not a good look for this small town, it really is a tragedy," said Howell.

Chief Deputy Tim Stephenson with the Calhoun County Sheriff's Department released this statement to News19: "Remain vigilant---as isolated as these incidents are they have tragic consequences. The department is relieved the victim was found safe"


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