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Four kidnapped children found safe in Texas

Police said the children had been transported from Minnesota by a 33-year-old convicted felon with an extensive criminal record.
Credit: U.S. Marshals

EAGLE PASS, Texas — Four children who federal authorities said were kidnapped by a Minnesota man were found safe Thursday night.

U.S. Marshals in Eagle Pass arrested Santos Vargas, 33, of Rochester. Vargas is facing kidnapping charges.

According to members of the U.S. Marshals Lone Star Fugitive Task Force, Vargas had transported the four children to Texas. Vargas is a convicted felon, who was wanted on multiple state warrants from Minnesota.

Once Vargas and the children crossed state lines into Texas, the Maverick County Sheriff’s Office, a task force partner agency, requested assistance from U.S. Marshals in Texas and Minnesota late Thursday afternoon. The agencies worked with members of the Rochester Police Department to track them down.

“The U.S. Marshals work diligently to keep our families and communities safe," U.S. Marshal Susan Pamerleau, of the Western District of Texas, said. “The fact that innocent children were involved serves to highlight the importance of teamwork between agencies, and the value of our community partnerships.”

The Lone Star Fugitive Task Force is made up of local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, serving communities throughout west Texas. Their main targets are violent and dangerous fugitives, non-compliant convicted sex offenders and critically endangered missing and exploited children. In 2019, the U.S. Marshals made more than 90,000 arrests nationwide.