- Associated Press - Thursday, November 17, 2011

CARACAS, Venezuela — Venezuelan authorities formally charged eight suspects Wednesday in the kidnapping of Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos.

The charges against include kidnapping, illegal possession of firearms, using a stolen vehicle and criminal association, prosecutors said in a statement. Those jailed include six men accused of directly participating in the abduction and a 59-year-old woman and 74-year-old man who are charged as accomplices for allegedly providing food to the group.

The 24-year-old baseball player was seized at gunpoint outside his family’s home in the city of Valencia last week and was rescued by police commandos two days later in the mountains of Carabobo state.

Authorities said four men were arrested at the abductors’ hideout but other suspects escaped the police raid. On Monday, police arrested a Colombian and a Venezuelan as alleged participants in the kidnapping. The older man and woman were detained before the rescue.

Ramos said after his release that his kidnappers had carefully planned the abduction with the help of an informant who had studied his movements. Ramos said his abductors told him they were going to demand a large ransom.

“What they did was laugh, joke about my pain,” Ramos said in brief remarks on television Tuesday.

The 74-year-old suspect, Aristides Sanchez, was granted house arrest by a court as permitted in Venezuela for suspects older than 70. However, officials said he will remain jailed until authorities confirm his age.

Sanchez is the father of another jailed suspect, 26-year-old Alexander Sanchez, the attorney general’s office said in a statement.

Ramos recently returned to his homeland after his rookie year with the Nationals to play during the offseason for his Venezuelan team, the Aragua Tigers. He has said he expects to be on the field playing for the Tigers again soon.

“I’m very thankful, and I feel like I’ve been born again,” Ramos said.

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