Fugitive in Cross-Country Kidnapping Plot Arrested in Metro East


Ortega "Munk Milano" Mitchell helped orchestrate a cross-country kidnapping plot, authorities say. - IMAGE VIA FBI
  • Image via FBI
  • Ortega "Munk Milano" Mitchell helped orchestrate a cross-country kidnapping plot, authorities say.
The architect of a brazen kidnapping-for-ransom plot was arrested on Tuesday night in the Metro East, authorities say.

Ortega “Munk Milano” Mitchell had been on the run for nearly nine months when FBI agents, state police and local cops captured him about 8 p.m. at a home in Swansea, Illinois.

The 26-year-old lured a San Diego man to St. Louis in September with the promise of a major marijuana deal, authorities say. Mitchell even bought the plane ticket and picked him up from the airport, according to the charges.

It was a setup. Mitchell and his associates took the man to two houses, including a vacant one in Venice, Illinois, where they robbed him and held him for ransom for several days, authorities say. They eventually drove him into south St. Louis and dropped him near Hampton and Columbia avenues, according to the allegations. They never collected the ransom.

Two of Mitchell’s alleged co-conspirators were arrested last year on federal charges of conspiracy to kidnap and conspiracy to distribute marijuana along with a pair of gun charges, but authorities had been unable to find him until the FBI offered a $5,000 reward on June 7 for Mitchell. FBI Special Agent in Charge William Woods said Wednesday that Tuesday’s bust was a “direct result” of one the tips that came in.

“Because of the public’s help, we have arrested an armed and dangerous suspect who has been on the lam since last September,” Woods said in a statement.

The tipster will be paid the full reward, authorities say.

We welcome tips and feedback. Email the author at doyle.murphy@riverfronttimes.com or follow on Twitter at @DoyleMurphy.

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