Synopsis:Upon his return from Afghanistan to San Diego, former Army Sergeant JAKE ROGAN learns from his sister, ASHLEY, and his U.S. Attorney brother-in-law, CAMERON, that his niece, LINDSEY (12), is being escorted to and from school by the Marshals Service as a safety precaution necessitated by Cameron’s prosecution of a lieutenant in the ESPARAZA drug cartel. Lindsey is abducted by MEXICAN GANGSTERS, who later call and demand the lieutenant’s release. Jake, who has friends in Mexico, offers his assistance. But Cameron has issues with Jake due to his brush with the law prior to joining the Army, and threatens to arrest him if he interferes.
Still haunted by memories of an incident in Afghanistan, Jake leaves his personal effects with his former girlfriend, TAMI, and crosses into Mexico to consult with QUENTIN, an old Army buddy who is now a police captain. Quentin tells Jake to go home and let the FBI and Mexican police handle the investigation. Following his involvement in a turf-war between rival cartels inside a Tijuana mall, Jake travels to Ensenada to solicit the help of HECTOR, a friend who is indebted to Jake for helping him evade a bogus criminal charge years earlier. Hector’s efforts lead to a confrontation with Esparaza goons, a perilous car chase, and ultimately Jake’s capture. In captivity, Jake learns from MIGUEL ESPARAZA that Lindsey’s abduction was orchestrated by a rival cartel, led by VICTOR MEDRANO, to weaken the Esparaza organization. Reasoning that Jake is more valuable alive than dead, Miguel allows him to live, but leaves him knocked out in the middle of nowhere. Jake returns to Ensenada and calls Tami, who brings his personal effects and her personal affections to him. When Jake reveals the identity of the real kidnappers and his suspicions of an inside man, Tami convinces him to let her share that information with Quentin on her way back to San Diego.
Using information provided by Miguel, with whom Jake forms an unlikely alliance, Jake and Hector locate a secret meth lab operated by Victor’s son-in-law, CARMELO. In the process of destroying the lab, Jake rescues an American family held hostage and learns that Carmelo is meeting Colombian drug dealers at an abandoned airfield. In the fray, Hector and Carmelo are killed. Despondent over Hector’s death and his inability to extract information from Carmelo, Jake receives a fatherly “dressing down” from Miguel, who urges him to devise a new strategy. Jake again turns to Quentin, who invites him to a meeting with an informant. Upon his arrival, Jake is captured by thugs and is stunned when Quentin enters with Victor and reveals that Tami was also abducted. Victor informs Jake that because of his actions, he and Lindsey must die and Tami will be given to the Colombians. Enraged over Victor’s broken promises, Quentin has a crisis of conscience, kills Victor and rescues Jake.
Jake and Quentin set out to rescue Lindsey and Tami, who are held at Victor’s heavily-guarded hideaway. Needing a diversion, Jake turns to Miguel, whose men attack the compound while Jake and Quentin enter through a secret tunnel. Jake finds Lindsey and Tami held at gunpoint by ELENA, Carmelo’s widow, which leads Jake to a flashback involving the incident in Afghanistan. With Quentin’s help, Jake defuses the situation without harming Elena. Her brother appears with a gun pointed at Jake. Quentin jumps in front of Jake, takes his bullet and dies in his arms. Jake returns Lindsey to her grateful parents and exposes the mole in Cameron’s office.