Four people were charged with the kidnapping, burglary, and torture of a pot dispensary owner in California after they allegedly cut off his penis because they mistakenly believed he was burying piles of cash in the desert, Orange County authorities said Friday.
Suspects Ryan Anthony Kevorkian, 34, and his wife Naomi Josette Kevorkian, 33, were taken into custody in Fresno, Calif., on Friday. The FBI arrested a third suspected, 34-year-old Hossein Nayeri in Prague, Czech Republic, on Thursday.
The fourth suspect, 34-year-old Kyle Shirakawa Handley was arrested in October of last year.
The victim owned a prosperous medical marijuana dispensary, according to prosecutors. They say he took some of his marijuana suppliers, including Handley, on a luxurious Las Vegas weekend trip in 2012. Prosecutors believe after the trip Handley told his friends that the victim was wealthy and they began plotting to kidnap him.
The dispensary owner was tied up, beaten, and burned with a blowtorch. When he failed to reveal where the money was, they cut off his penis and doused him in bleach to destroy DNA evidence they may have left on his body. The defendants left him for dead on the side of the road, along with a female companion they kidnapped with him.
They took the victim’s penis when they dumped him on the roadside, so that it could not be reattached, investigators said. The victim survived his injuries.
The female was eventually able to get help.
"The woman ran over a mile to a main road in the dark, while still bound with zip ties, and flagged down a police car," authorities said.
The defendants believed the victim was burying cash in the desert outside Palm Springs because they followed the victim for four weeks before the kidnapping. They witnessed him make frequents trips out to the desert.
The four are charged with kidnapping for ransom, torture, aggravated mayhem, burglary and a sentencing enhancement for inflicting great bodily injury, the Associated Press reported.
Handley pleaded not guilty to the charges in October.
"It is my hope that by bringing to justice these three additional people it will become clear that Mr. Handley was not involved in this demonic criminal enterprise," said Robert K. Weinberg, Handley's attorney, on Friday.