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    Man sentenced in kidnap-torture of pot dispensary owner

    May 28, 2021 GMT

    SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — A man who took part in a plan to steal $1 million from a Southern California marijuana dispensary owner who was kidnapped, tortured and mutilated has been sentenced to more than 12 years in state prison.

    Ryan Kevorkian, 42, was sentenced Wednesday after pleading guilty to kidnapping, burglary and assault. He was granted credit for time spent in county jail since his 2013 arrest, the Orange County Register reported.

    His attorney, Michael Molfetta, said his client didn’t realize what would happen when he and several others kidnapped the dispensary owner from a Newport Beach home in 2012 along with the girlfriend of the homeowner, who was out of town.

    The men wrongly believed the dispensary owner had buried $1 million in the desert. During a more than two-hour drive to the Mojave Desert they hit him with rubber piping, shocked him with a Taser and burned him with a blowtorch, prosecutors said.

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    Once in the desert, the kidnappers cut off the dispensary owner’s penis, then left him and the woman bound as they drove off. The woman flagged down a law enforcement officer, and the dispensary owner survived, though authorities were unable to recover his body part.

    The mastermind of the plot, Hossein Nayeri, was sentenced last year to life in prison without possibility of parole. While awaiting trial in 2016, Nayeri escaped from the Orange County jail with two other inmates and led authorities on a weeklong manhunt across the state before being captured.

    Another defendant, Kyle Handley, was previously convicted and sentenced to four life terms.

    Naomi Rhodus, Kevorkian’s former wife, is awaiting trial on charges that she bought the weapons and helped to rent the van used in the kidnapping.