MIAMI (TCD) — Two brothers and another man allegedly kidnapped an individual and threatened to kill him after realizing he wasn’t the intended victim.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida, on Friday, Oct. 13, Jeffry Arista, Jonathan Arista, and Raymond Gomez “forcefully” abducted the victim outside his apartment and transported him to an Airbnb in Plantation, Florida. There, they realized “they had abducted the wrong person” and allegedly began assaulting him.
WTVJ-TV reports that one of the defendants forced the victim into a white Dodge Charger while wearing a police uniform, a ballistic vest, and a gold badge on his belt. Another defendant allegedly drove the vehicle with a police light. During transport, the two reportedly made the victim wear a head covering as they drove him to the Airbnb, and they threw his phone out of the vehicle.
According to the affidavit obtained by WTVJ, the third kidnapper met them at the Airbnb, removed the victim’s mask, and asked for his name, “implying they had kidnapped the wrong individual.”
The defendants reportedly took the victim’s ID from his wallet and discovered they had the wrong person. According to WTVJ, the trio intended to kidnap the victim’s strip club co-worker instead.
After realizing they had the wrong person, the kidnappers reportedly brought the man into a bathroom, covered his face with several black masks, and began waterboarding him. The Attorney’s Office said they also threatened his life, aiming firearms, Tasers, and an electric drill at him.
The suspects reportedly learned the intended target worked at the Booby Trap gentlemen’s club with the victim, so they drove him there in a Porsche.
According to the Attorney’s Office, the kidnappers “ordered the victim to go into the business and lure out the intended target.” However, once inside, the victim called law enforcement, and officials apprehended the alleged kidnappers.
In an interview, WTVJ reports that Gomez told investigators that he and the Arista brothers were taking orders from another individual because the intended victim owed a monetary debt.
The three defendants face federal charges of kidnapping and conspiracy to kidnap. Jeffry Arista and Jonathan Arista appeared in federal court Monday, Oct. 16. Gomez has not yet appeared in court.
The three suspects each face a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted.
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