SANTA ANA, California — A man who burned a marijuana dispensary owner with a blow torch and cut off his penis during a brutal shakedown attempt has been sentenced to three life sentences.
Hossein Nayeri, 41, was one of four men charged with the vicious kidnapping and assault on the dispensary owner in an effort to get him to reveal places in the desert the co-conspirators believed he had been stashing money, prosecutors said.
“The devastating depraved heart and extreme intelligence allowed this individual to inflict unimaginable horror on his victims,” said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer. “Despite his best efforts to avoid capture, Orange County law enforcement was relentless in pursuing justice.”
The terrifying plot began in 2012 when one of Nayeri’s pals, Kyle Shirakawa Handley, 41, met the victim during an extravagant weekend in Las Vegas he hosted for his marijuana suppliers. Handley had been a grower and sold marijuana to the man.
After the trip to Las Vegas, Handley told Nayeri and their friend, Ryan Kevorkian, that the victim was extremely wealthy and they hatched a plan to kidnap and rob him.
Prosecutors say the men followed the victim for weeks as he made frequent trips to the desert, believing he was stashing cash there. In fact, the victim had been making trips to discuss a possible investment deal.
On Oct. 2, 2012, Handley, Nayeri, and Kevorkian broke into the victim’s Newport Beach home, zip-tied his wrists, severely beat him and forced him into a van. They also kidnapped the girlfriend of his roommate and drove them to the desert. They then sexually mutilated the victim by cutting off his penis, according to prosecutors.
They then poured bleach on the victim in an effort to destroy any DNA evidence and dumped both zip-tied victims on the side of the road. The woman was not physically harmed.
The men took the victim’s penis with them so that it could never be reattached. The woman managed to get her feet free and ran over a mile to a main road in the dark, where she flagged down a police car. The dispensary owner spent an extensive period of time in the hospital recovering from his injuries.
Cops were able to tie Handley to the attack after reviewing security footage from near the victim’s home and spotting Handley’s car surveilling the man’s house. Investigators later discovered Nayeri’s DNA on evidence linked to the kidnapping. Handley was convicted in 2018 and sentenced to two life terms.
Nayeri then fled to Iran but was captured by the FBI in 2013 as he travelled through the Czech Republic to visit family in Spain. In 2016, he escaped from the Orange County Jail with another man and kidnapping a cab driver and forcing him to drive them to an Francisco where they were eventually caught.
Kevorkian and his ex-wife, Naomi Josette Rhodus, who was involved in formulating the plot, are awaiting trial.