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Brothers face federal charges in wild Florida kidnapping

Federal authorities in Florida say the brothers were involved in a plot that led them to mistakenly kidnap and waterboard the wrong person.
Brothers face federal charges in wild Florida kidnapping
Posted at 8:41 PM, Oct 17, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-17 20:42:06-04

Two brothers, along with a third man, face federal charges in South Florida after carrying out what appeared to be a wild kidnapping plan, targeting a different person than they had originally intended. 

Authorities say Jeffrey Arista, 32, and Jonathan Arista, 29 — who had their initial appearance in federal court on Monday — are accused of kidnapping a man at gunpoint outside of his apartment in the South Florida city of Plantation. 

The men were assisted by another suspect named Raymond Gomez when they are accused of "forcefully transporting the victim to an AirBnB" property in the same city. 

According to a criminal complaint, during the Oct. 13 kidnapping, the men threw the victim's mobile phone out of a car they were traveling in before taking him inside the home they had rented. 

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When the men discovered they had kidnapped the wrong person — instead of the victim's coworker who was the intended target — they allegedly threatened him with an electric drill and pointed a gun at him. 

The men then, according to federal authorities, threw water on the victim to try to simulate a waterboarding and cause him to feel like he was drowning. 

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida said the men then transported the victim forcefully to a business and told them to enter and try to "lure out the intended target."

Reports said the victim was given another cell phone and told to access a cloud storage server to locate the intended target's phone number to try and call them. 

When the victim entered the business, authorities say they called the police who were able to arrest the three men accused of kidnapping. 

Gomez had not had his initial appearance in court by Monday. Authorities have announced pending criminal charges in the case. 


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