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Associated Press, Published June 21 2010

Prisoner pleads guilty in 2002 Twin Cities kidnappings

HASTINGS, Minn. (AP) — A federal prisoner has pleaded guilty to kidnapping two women eight years ago in West St. Paul, strapping them to what they thought were bombs and forcing them to steal from West St. Paul businesses.

The Star Tribune reports that 40-year-old Che Lamar Romero was set to go on trial Monday in Dakota County District Court but instead pleaded guilty to the abductions.

He was sentenced to seven years in state prison, which he will serve after he leaves federal prison in California in 2023.

Romero has been imprisoned in California in connection with a similar attempted robbery in Mankato, for which he was arrested in 2003.

In the two West St. Paul cases, the women were safely released but the suspects got away with about $262,000 in cash and goods.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.