A Bryan man who stopped showing up for his criminal trial and was placed on the Brazos County Crime Stoppers most wanted list is back in the Brazos County jail.
The Brazos County district attorney’s office reports 46 year old Ben Arevalo III, who was convicted and sentenced in absentia two weeks ago, was captured while trying to enter Mexico.
Arevalo was sentenced to 35 years for the aggravated kidnapping of an ex-girlfriend in November of 2019.
He was booked Friday morning for what online records show is the 23rd time since October of 1992.
A Bryan man is on the most wanted list of Brazos County Crime Stoppers after he stopped appearing at his aggravated kidnapping trial.
46 year old Ben Arevalo III was found guilty by a Brazos County district court jury, and the trial judge imposed a maximum sentence of ten years.
Arevalo kidnapped an ex-girlfriend at gunpoint in November of 2019. Prosecutors say that’s after he stalked and threatened the woman for weeks.
The victim was rescued by Brazos County sheriff’s deputies who tracked the emergency ping on her cell phone.
Arevalo was in court during the prosecution and defense phases of the trial. He was not present for closing arguments, the verdict, and the punishment phase.
Prosecutors say at the time of his arrest, which was the 22nd time Arevalo was booked in the Brazos County jail since October 1992, he was on probation for convictions related to his role in his brother’s drug trafficking operation.
Arevalo spent more than two years in jail until he posted bonds totaling $135,000 dollars in January.
News release from the Brazos County district attorney’s office:
On May 26, 2022, the 85th District Court Jury assessed punishment for Ben Arevalo, III at 35 years in prison for the offense of Aggravated Kidnapping. The 85th jury convicted him on Wednesday of the same offense. Judge Hawthorne delayed sentencing in the case due to the fact that the defendant failed to appear at his trial after leaving court on Tuesday afternoon.
In the early morning hours of November 4, 2019, Bryan Police received a call from a frantic convenience store clerk who reported that a Hispanic female had run into the store and yelled for the clerk to call 911. Immediately after entering the store, a Hispanic male followed the victim into the store, dragged her out of the store and forced her into a waiting vehicle. The vehicle then fled the scene.
Bryan Police officers responded to the store, reviewed the surveillance video, and confirmed that an active kidnapping had taken place.
Shortly afterwards, Bryan Police received a call from the victim’s coworker informing the police that the victim had not shown up to work. The coworker reported that she had called the victim because of her absence. However, the victim’s phone was answered by the defendant, the victim’s ex-boyfriend. The coworker overheard a struggle and the victim yelling for the defendant to get off of her.
The coworker told police that the defendant had recently been stalking the victim and, based on what the coworker overheard, she believed the victim had been kidnapped. The coworker called back to 911
shortly afterwards to report that she had just received a text from the victim that the defendant had kidnapped her and that he had a gun.
Bryan Police, Brazos County Sheriff’s Office, Brazos County Constables, and other local law enforcement agencies began actively looking for the victim after the first call. Law enforcement also began an
emergency ping on the victim’s phone in an effort to determine her location. Using the ping, Brazos County Sheriff’s Office Deputies stopped the defendant on Highway 21 and rescued the victim. Sheriff’s deputies also recovered a firearm in the vehicle. After his arrest, the defendant told jail staff at the Brazos County Jail that he regretted not killing both himself and the victim.
In an interview with the Bryan Police Department, the defendant admitted he had hidden outside the victim’s residence and waited for her to leave for work. The defendant then admitted that he pointed a
firearm at the victim and kidnapped her in order to force her to watch as he killed himself.
The victim testified at trial that the defendant had stalked her for weeks after their breakup earlier that fall. She further stated that the defendant had made threats towards her in the days leading up to the kidnapping. Prosecutors presented evidence that the defendant was on probation at the time of the kidnapping for first degree drug charges related to his role in his brother’s drug trafficking organization. Prosecutors called witnesses who testified about the large amount of narcotics that were brought into the community by the defendant in order to be sold to other drug dealers.
In addition to his new charges, Judge Hawthorne revoked the defendant’s probation, and indicated that his sentence would be the maximum ten years once he is located and arrested.
The defendant was out on bail and did not appear after the second day of his trial. The trial continued in the defendant’s absence. As of this time, a warrant has been issued for the defendant’s arrest and the defendant remains a fugitive.