Two Fresno residents are expected in court Wednesday in a case in which authorities say abductors cut off the penis of the owner of a lucrative Orange County medical marijuana dispensary to try to force him to disclose where he supposedly had buried bags of cash in the desert.
Ryan Anthony Kevorkian, 34, and Naomi Josette Kevorkian, 33, were arrested Friday in Fresno in connection with the kidnapping of the Orange County dispensary owner and are expected to be formally charged with kidnapping.
A third suspect, 34-year-old Hossein Nayeri, was arrested Thursday in Prague, Czech Republic, but has not yet been extradited. He had allegedly fled the U.S. after eluding police in a high-speed car chase in Newport Beach.
A fourth suspect, Kyle Shirakawa Handley, 34, was arrested and charged in October 2012. He has pleaded not guilty.
Handley, a marijuana grower who supplied the victim's clinic, allegedly told Nayeri and Ryan Kevorkian that the dispensary owner was "extremely wealthy," and all four defendants began to plot robbing him, prosecutors say.
The defendants are accused of watching the dispensary owner's house and his frequent trips to the desert, where he had been discussing a possible investment deal. But the suspects mistakenly concluded that he had been burying money there, authorities said.
Handley, Nayeri and Ryan Kevorkian went to the dispensary owner's home on Oct. 2 and "they are accused of zip-tying the victim's wrists and torturing him, including severely beating him," according to the Orange County district attorney's office.
The three then allegedly drove the dispensary owner and his girlfriend to the desert near the area where they believed he was hiding money. Prosecutors have accused them of continuing to torture the man, who has remained unidentified, throughout the drive by burning him with a blow torch.
Once in the desert, the suspects allegedly cut off his penis and then poured bleach over him in "an effort to destroy any DNA evidence." Both victims were then dumped on the side of the road, according to the district attorney's office.
The dispensary owner was hospitalized for an extensive period of time, recovering from his injuries, authorities said.
The Kevorkians have been charged with two felony counts of kidnapping for ransom and one felony count of aggravated mayhem, torture and first-degree residential burglary.
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