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A California medical marijuana dispensary owner was brutally tortured by kidnappers who allegedly burned the man and cut off his penis for his money.
The Los Angeles Times reports that four people are under arrest in the case. The suspects allegedly plotted to kidnap and torture a "wealthy" pot store owner for "bags of cash" the culprits erroneously believed were hidden in the desert.
What charges have been filed in this bizarre case?
Suspects Dismembered Dispensary Owner
Police and prosecutors allege in October 2012, the four suspects traveled to the victim's home in Newport Beach where they beat him, zip-tied him and a female roommate, and transported the two into the Southern California desert, reports the Times.
One of the culprits, identified as pot grower Kyle Handley, 34, had been supplying the victim's clinic and reported to his alleged co-conspirators that the man was "extremely wealthy."
According to The Associated Press, all four suspects face kidnapping charges for bringing the unnamed victim into the desert where they believed he'd buried large amounts of cash. In California, kidnapping for the purposes of exacting some sort of money is a felony punishable by life in prison without the possibility of parole.
It got worse for the victim, unfortunately, as authorities allege that he was burned with a blowtorch and had his penis cut off by the kidnappers in an attempt to get him to reveal the location of the buried cash, reports the Times.
This was enough for prosecutors to file aggravated mayhem charges against the four, which also carry a maximum penalty of life in prison.
The AP reports that Handley pleaded not guilty to these charges in October. All four suspects are being held without bail.
1 Suspect Faces Extradition
One of the four charged in this grisly case, Hossein Nayeri, 34, allegedly fled to Iran after the kidnapping, but he was later tracked down and arrested by the FBI in Prague, reports the AP.
Extradition involves one state (or country) handing over criminal suspects for punishment or trial to another state. In this case, Nayeri will likely be extradited from the Czech Republic in accordance with the treaties between that nation and the United States.
Interestingly, Nayeri could potentially have evaded prosecution had he remained in Iran, as it is one of the few countries with no extradition treaty with the United States.