When 23-year-old Cory Still left his St. Matthews, South Carolina, home on July 9, 2014, he had no idea of the ordeal waiting for him. Shortly after, his car was pulled over by men posing as law enforcement officers, and he was handcuffed before being dumped in the back of an old truck. Paramount+’s ‘FBI True: Cartel Kidnapping’ chronicles the shocking incident and shows how Cory was eventually rescued. Let’s delve into the details surrounding the ordeal and find out where Cory is at present, shall we?
Who is Cory Still?
A resident of St. Matthews, South Carolina, Cory Still was just 23 at the time of his kidnapping. Moreover, even though he still lived with his family, he ran an independent roofing business and was pretty well-known in the community. In fact, people who knew Cory described him as a respectful and generous young man who treated others with kindness and maintained friendly relationships with most. On top of it, he was recently engaged and was looking forward to marrying his fiancee.
According to reports, Cory’s father and several of his uncles were originally from Mexico and had links to the Sinaloa Cartel. It is one of the biggest drug cartels in Mexico, which runs a worldwide drug-running business and is even known for carrying out planned assassinations. Sources further mentioned that Cory’s father and his uncles were responsible for accepting the delivery of cocaine from Mexico before distributing it in the United States. Although the cartel did not send a lot of the drug initially, they soon began increasing their shipments until tractors upon tractors of cocaine were illegally entering South Carolina.
Naturally, Cory’s father realized that it would be impossible to keep the operation undercover, and when the cartel refused to listen to his request for smaller shipments, he demanded to exit the business. Yet, most drug cartels hate deserters, and once he was branded a traitor, his family was in grave trouble. On top of it, Cory did not share a good relationship with his uncles, which encouraged them to target the 23-year-old. Hence, when he stepped out of his home on July 9, 2014, two cartel members disguised themselves as law enforcement officers and pulled him over.
The duo then handcuffed the 23-year-old at gunpoint and threw him in the back of a truck. Once Cory’s family got wind of the disappearance, they wasted no time informing authorities. Nevertheless, they were unwilling to share many details because of their involvement in drug running. In the meantime, the kidnappers made contact and demanded $200,000 in exchange for Cory’s life. Hence, when his loved ones realized they might lose the 23-year-old for not cooperating, they bared it all to the police.
Once the FBI got involved, they used surveillance planes to scan the entire area while a technical team narrowed down the location of the ransom caller. Furthermore, two cartel members, arrested for an unrelated crime, provided information about the possible safehouses where the cartel might be holding Cory. Armed with a list of addresses, the police, FBI, and local SWAT conducted synchronized raids on several properties until he was found tied to a home gym set in Roseboro.
Where is Cory Still Now?
Once Cory was rescued, the police arrested three cartel members: Juan Morales, the ransom caller, Luis Castro Villeda, and Ruben Ceja-Rangel. While Castro Villeda pled guilty to conspiracy to kidnap across state lines and was sentenced to 30 years in prison, Juan and Ruben were convicted of conspiracy, kidnapping, and firearms offenses, which fetched them a 41-year sentence and a 56-year sentence, respectively.
Interestingly, FBI reports claim that Cory Still was later arrested and even pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute marijuana. However, once out of prison, he married his fiance and settled in St. Matthews, South Carolina. Currently, Cory still runs his roofing business out of South Carolina while being a proud father to his son.