Lolita Ortiz
Lolita Ortiz (Courtesy of San Juan County Sheriff's Office)

AZTEC — An Aztec couple has been accused of kidnapping two men in Aztec earlier this month over a former roommate's alleged drug debt.

Jesse Bowman, 24, and Lolita Ortiz, 20, were each charged Thursday in Aztec Magistrate Court with multiple counts of kidnapping and armed robbery, both felony offenses. Bowman faces additional charges of battery, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

At about 2 a.m. on June 1, Bowman and Ortiz showed up at the home of Cody Mendieta and Aaron Selph, located at 28 County Road 3003, according to a probable cause statement.

Jesse Bowman
Jesse Bowman (Courtesy of San Juan County Sheriff's Office)

Bowman was carrying a bottle of vodka and a gun, Selph told police, and allegedly forced Selph to drink the vodka. He told the men he was there to collect on a drug debt owed by their former roommate, who is not currently facing any charges related to the incident.

Mendieta offered Bowman the former roommate's television, but Bowman also demanded a video game system, the statement says.

Mendieta told police Ortiz "just sat on the couch smiling about it all."

Bowman then ordered Mendieta and Selph into his truck, and Ortiz drove them to Mendieta's father's house on Light Plant Road. Mendieta had told Bowman that he kept a PlayStation 3 there.

Mendieta told his father outside Bowman's earshot that he and Selph were being held hostage. Mendieta's father retrieved his gun and chased Bowman and Ortiz away after a heated exchange. Mendieta's father then contacted police.

Bowman and Ortiz were arrested on Saturday, according to a news release from the San Juan County Sheriff's Office. Bowman is being held on a $221,000 bond. Ortiz is being held on a $180,000 bond.

Sheriff's office Detective Tim Nyce said Ortiz has no prior arrest record, but "Bowman has a history of violent crimes."

According to court records, Bowman was charged earlier this month with assault and battery, both petty misdemeanors.

Bowman and Ortiz are both expected to appear at a preliminary examination on July 3.

Steve Garrison covers crime and courts for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4644 and sgarrison@daily-times.com. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGarrisonDT on Twitter.