Gulf Cartel connection to Harlingen kidnapping

After spending weeks on the run, the fourth suspect in an armed kidnapping outside a Harlingen fast food restaurant is behind bars.

El Ranchito resident Jose Antonio Gonzales is accused of masterminding a kidnapping outside a McDonalds restaurant in Harlingen back on March 9th.

Court records obtained by Action 4 News show that the whole incident started with a lost drug load.

The records show that Gonzales owed money to the Gulf Cartel for the lost load.

Hiding from the cartel, the 42-year-old El Ranchito man hired several men to protect to him.

But the records show that Gonzales hatched a plan to get himself off the hook.

The kidnapping victim's family was allegedly involved in stealing a load of drugs.

Gonzales allegedly planned to have him kidnapped and delivered to the Gulf Cartel to make up for the lost drug load.

But numerous witnesses saw the kidnapping, called police and reported a description and the license plate numbers of their SUV.

Police spotted the SUV and rescued the victim.

Kidnapping suspects Pedro Francisco Garza, Alexander Hernandez and Hector Primitivo Salinas were all arrested at the scene.

The court records suggest another suspect whose first name is "Luis" and who goes by the nickname "Sharky" may have also been involved with the crime.

Gonzales remains in custody at the Cameron County Jail under a $1 million bond.

Action 4 News spoke to Gonzales' father, San Benito City Commissioner Tony Gonzales, but he declined to comment.