3 Being held for ransom in Phoenix drop house saved just in time

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PHOENIX (AP) -- The Arizona Department of Public Safety says it freed three people Monday allegedly being held for ransom inside an east Phoenix apartment.

DPS spokesman Officer Robert Bailey tells The Associated Press that members of an illegal immigration task force responded to an apartment complex near 40th Street and east McDowell Road.

There, Bailey says police entered an apartment where three men were tied up and held by their captors for $6,000 apiece.

Bailey says the men were forced to make ransom calls to their loved ones seeking cash.

Bailey says family members notified authorities about the ransom demands.

Two men and two women were arrested. They have been identified as Julio Cesar Rubio-Contreras, Alexis Medina-Cruz, Yenni Cruz-Ibarra and Reyna Valdez-Galaviz.

The four suspects face charges of kidnapping, human smuggling, extortion and participating in a criminal enterprise.

Medina-Cruz also faces three counts of aggravated assault with a weapon.

None of the victims or suspects are believed to be U.S. residents.