Former-Mexican international goalkeeper Omar Ortiz has been sentenced to 75 years behind bars after being found guilty for helping to carry out three kidnappings. The 42-year-old committed the crimes between 2011 and 2012, while he was suspended from football for doping.
Ortiz, known as ‘El Gato’ (The Cat), was arrested in January 2012, and had been held in Cadereyta prison since then as the investigation into the case was ongoing.
Along with four accomplices, Ortiz was found guilty of the aggravated kidnapping of three people including a minor and Armando Gomez, husband of popular Mexican singer Gloria Trevi.
Gomez was kidnapped in October 2011, and although he was rescued without incident, but his wife said the memory still haunts her.
The former goalkeeper was in charge of finding information about the victims for the gang and was paid up to £4,059 for each.
The kidnappers were reportedly linked to the Golfo – of Gulf – Cartel.
Former spokesman for Public Safety in Nuevo Leon, Jorge Domene Zambrano, previously said that Ortiz joined the gang for financial reasons because of a lack of income from his footballing career.
In May 2010 he was banned from football for two years for twice testing positive for the banned steroids oxymetholoneand masteron when he played for Mexican side Monterrey.
The other members of the gang include Luis Alberto Tamez Hernandez, who was given a 75-year sentence, Cesar Acosta Canchola was handed a 70-year sentence, while Hector Eduardo Trevino Urbano and Jorge Anibal Trevino Hernandez who were both given 50-year sentences.
Ortiz made one appearance for the Mexican national team which came against Guatemala during the 2002 CONCACAF Gold Cup.