After this weekend, we celebrate the miraculous safety and quick, resolute thinking of a 13-year-old South Florida boy, who saved himself from the clutches of yet another monster Hell-bent upon attacking our children. Clay Moore is alive and well in the loving arms of his family today in Parrish, Florida, thank God, instead of still being duct-taped to a tree, the victim of a predatorial abduction.
His parents plan to speak out about his ordeal in a press conference to be held sometime today. And today, Clay joyfully returns to his classmates at school. Life begins to return to some semblance of normalcy for this family, I hope.
Also after this weekend, another nail has been pounded into the coffin of illegal immigration leniency and amnesty advocates in our nation, as well.
An international manhunt remains in full force for illegal alien and Mexico National Vincente Ignacio Beltran-Moreno, 22, from the lovely hometown of Sinaloa de Leyva, Mexico. Sinaloa de Leyva, by the way, is home to the quite famous “Sinaloa Federation”, a large mafia-style methamphetamine cartel whose top-level leaders include the equally infamous Beltran-Leyva brothers. Coincidence? Kissing Cousins? Who knows, but they’re all probably related at least remotely.
Moreno’s planned kidnapping for ransom scheme is strongly reminiscent of present day US-Mexico border towns from McAllen, Texas to San Diego, California, where US businesses counsel their employees constantly not to cross the border into Mexico or else risk the high likelihood of being kidnapped themselves. I know because I’ve received that sermon often and over many years. I have also personally known two men kidnapped for ransom in Nuevo Laredo, one of whom was murdered. Gone completely are the days when we would cross over to enjoy great local food and tequila. Too many US businessmen have been kidnapped and/or killed over the last decade alone for us to ever be naive again.
Vincente Ignacio Beltran-Moreno is long-gone from the Florida kidnapping scene, probably employing the use of one or more of his nine known aliases he has developed in the four years he has been in the US as a migrant worker. Police believe he may already be in Mexico, but he could easily be hiding in the safe bosom of other illegal aliens anywhere in this country, all notorious for “protecting” one of their own. And they have a network to be envied.
The details of the Clay Moore kidnapping are now widely known, thanks to a blessed break in frantic news coverage of the Anna Nicole Smith fiasco. And this story – the audacity and brazenness of Moreno’s broad daylight plot — strikes a strong cord of fear in parents all across this land. Are our children ever safe? Absolutely, but you can’t let your guard down for a single second anymore. As my father loved to say, “Trust everyone, but cut the cards.”
Last Friday morning, Clay Moore and a group of some 15 other students of the Manatee School of the Arts and a local middle school were standing around talking and cutting up, as kids like to do, while waiting for their school bus to take them on to their last day of classes for the week.
Then, just before 9:00 a.m., a dark red Ford Ranger with an extended cab drove up to the group. A man gets out and approaches young Clay, who just happened to be the closest among his bus pals to the truck, riding a pal’s skateboard in front of the group before the bus arrived. The man grabbed Clay by the arm and told him to get into the truck.
Other kids at the scene reported that Clay hysterically told the man “I don’t know you” and asked frantically “Can I help you” all to no avail, as the man produced a handgun and used it to help motivate Clay into the truck. The children, who were at first stunned by this man grabbing Clay, then scattered in complete and utter hysteria, in all directions, and watched their friend, Clay, sob openly from his seat in the kidnapper’s truck. And the man and Clay drove off. I can imagine no more horrific experience as what Clay and his pals endured.
Clay was driven some 20 miles away to a very remote, wooded area around Faulkner Farms, which Moreno knew like the back of his hand. Far away from any road, Moreno bound the boy to a tree using duct tape, bound his feet with the tape and used one of the boy’s socks and more duct tape to gag him. He told Clay he would be back, then drove off to lay low and begin his ransom scheme.
Young Clay spent the next two hours freeing himself, tearing through the duct tape with a safety pin and his teeth. Clay escaped the tree and tore off running through the thicket and adjacent fields until he finally found a man working on a tractor. The man spoke practically no English and couldn’t communicate with Clay, but recognized Clay’s franticness and handed the boy his cell phone. Clay called his mother’s cell at 1:30 p.m. and, using the cell phone signal, Police were able to trace Clay’s location and recover him safely. The rest of the story, for Clay, is miraculous history.
The extraordinary amount of details that Clay produced for police left no doubt whatsoever as to his kidnapper’s identity. Even before Clay’s confirmation of Moreno as the kidnapper, police had interviewed dozens of Hispanic workers at the Falkner Farm and Moreno was positively identified from the police sketch (created from the descriptions provided by the children at the scene) by his own uncle, 56-year-old Elias Beltran, an employee of the farm. The same uncle also helped police drill down through a myriad of aliases to find his real name, which further revealed that Moreno had been deported from the US before and had sneaked back across the border, as have millions before him and since.
Moreno’s first job after hopping the US border with Mexico was in Florida at the Faulkner Farms. He worked there for some three years, then worked at another farm in the area before working most recently as a “contractor” installing screen enclosures and swimming pool wall reinforcements in the
Bradenton area. The uncle told police he has not seen Moreno since the wedding one month ago of his daughter. Before January 27, it was several months since he had seen him at all. He knew Moreno had moved away from the farm area to Bradenton, but didn’t know where or when.
Several different ransom notes were found by police upon execution of two search warrants at Moreno’s home that he shared with his girlfriend. The couple had lived in this rented house in Samoset (a suburb of
Bradenton) for three or four months, according to Juventino Pureco who owns the house and who further has related that Moreno has fathered “children” with his own daughter. It is believed that this daughter is the current girlfriend, but police are not considering her a party to Clay’s abduction.
The several ransom notes each asked for different amounts of money, under different ransom circumstances, and police have openly speculated that Moreno was intending on kidnapping a child for some time, writing different ransom notes in “practice” of the real event. Police say Moreno was out hunting Friday morning for a victim when he happened upon Clay Moore.
Also found parked safely in the garage was the red truck Moreno was driving during the abduction, as well as in previous attempts before Clay’s kidnapping. Clearly, when Moreno left Clay duct-taped to the tree, he immediately returned home to hide the truck and get ready to deliver his ransom note. He had no intention of ever going back for the boy and as soon as Moreno had his ransom cash in hand, he would simply disappear into the bosom of the illegal alien community to do it again.
Little did this monster realize the ingenuity of a 13-year-old boy, who foiled his intended crime. So Moreno fled with lightening-bolt speed leaving behind his meager personal possessions, toiletries, food, clothing and ransom note drafts for police to later find.
Indeed, Moreno had been hunting for a child victim for some time.
One child, an eyewitness at the scene when Clay Moore was abducted, reported to police and media that his younger sister and a friend were playing in their front yard several days before when a man in a red truck “began chasing them.” The two young girls ran inside the boy’s home and told him about the truck, and this boy and a friend of his came out to see the truck driving slowly in front of their house. The two young teenage boys “chased” the truck until it sped away. This boy, 14-year-old Rabah Jaffal, believes the man who kidnapped Clay Moore was the same man driving the truck and targeting his sister. He said Moreno’s truck was a dead ringer for the one he saw days before. And there are several other reports of sightings of this very same red truck following other children in the area in the days and weeks before Clay’s abduction.
Among the amazing ironies in this case is the story from Tim McCree, a close friend of one of Clay’s grandfathers and one who immediately joined in the search efforts for the boy. He was one of many in his neighborhood awakened by SWAT teams in the early morning hours Sunday as they searched
Moreno’s rented house. McCree lived just two doors down.
I doubt we see Moreno captured, although Police today have eluded to Moreno’s Mexican relatives reporting if they see him in Mexico. I doubt he is in Mexico or even headed there. It’s just not necessary and probably safer for him to stay right here in the States, safely hidden by his fellow compatriots, soon to be using another identity and soon to be working at a farm, or restaurant, or warehouse, or lawn service near me or you.
But Moreno, despite the two days it took the media to cease deliberately hiding his alien status in their stories, has put another nail in the coffin of illegal immigration into our nation. I pray that people not only wake up to the reality that complacency in the safety of our children can no longer be allowed, but that illegal immigration has got to come to a halt. This story is a perfect example as to why.
The sad reality is that this story doesn’t even scratch the surface of heinous crimes committed by illegal aliens daily across the US. Certainly, it is a remarkable, brazen case, as ransom kidnappings are almost obsolete. Yet hundreds of innocent people are killed annually by drunk illegal alien drivers, and the untold thousands of cases where people are battered, raped and stolen from seems almost commonplace in today’s society.
Of course, being a monster knows no nationality. We’ve got plenty of good ole US citizens born and raised for generations back that fit the bill perfectly. Michael Devlin in Missouri is but one of recent note. We can’t as a nation “sanitize” our citizenry. We can only rely upon ourselves to help our criminal justice system to find them and put them away. But we certainly CAN control our borders and enforce our country’s sovereignty. There are many, many wonderful families here illegally from Mexico, who choose not to become US citizens simply because of money. They enjoy every benefit of US citizens with the single two exceptions of being able to vote and pay taxes. There is nothing forcing them to naturalize, so they don’t. Despite their goodness, there is no overlooking the facts that their astounding numbers in the millions have overburdened every facet of our social structure as a nation and the deep well that has been their free healthcare, free educations and far beyond is running dry. And because they are here in the millions, it is not surprising to find predators and criminals among them. For many reasons, the United States can no longer afford to turn a blind eye.
I wonder if INS is investigating any of these Florida employers, who are obviously guilty of hiring illegal aliens by virtue of Moreno’s employment alone? And, of course, he is not alone. I wouldn’t be surprised if every one of the farm workers interviewed were illegals. It almost seems a shame to reward their assistance in the Clay Moore case by deporting them, but it is only right if they are here illegally.
Make no mistake: Moreno’s arrival in the US was sponsored. He had a place to go, people to help him get there, and a job waiting for him. He probably is watching the news media right now from a safe location with a color television, just biding his time until he feels safe to venture out with a new moustache and new fake identity.
The only protection I have against Moreno is that he and any other illegal aliens won’t be building my fences, roofing my home, putting in my pool, or cutting my grass, regardless of how nice they seem to be or are. And, yes, I pay extra to ensure this in my life. Unfortunately, that is all the control I personally have over this issue of “undocumented workers” that my spineless Congress refuses to tackle for fear of losing their elected positions in retribution by Latin and Liberal voter bases.