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A Florida man has pleaded guilty to kidnapping and torturing a plastic surgeon with a blow torch in a botched extortion attempt.
Justin Boccio, 34, pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday to kidnapping the unidentified plastic surgeon from a Walmart parking lot, forcing him into a van, blindfolding him and driving him to a storage garage where he endured a horrific night of torture, according to the Miami New Times.
Authorities believe Boccio and a second man, allegedly Serge Nkorina, kidnapped the physician as part of a brazen extortion attempt—using a blow torch on the man’s hands while threatening to kill him with a firearm and other weapons, according to a release from The United States Attorney’s Office Southern District of Florida.
But even after the doctor gave the two men his home address, gate entry code and alarm code and directed them to where they could find $50,000 there, the men continued to beat him and run a blow torch over his hands.
Authorities said after the doctor gave the pair the information, Nkorina went to the home carrying a firearm, prosecutors said.
Video surveillance at the doctor’s home captured a man approaching the front door of the residence around 2 a.m. on Jan. 15 with a gun in his hand. However, when one of the doctor’s family members noticed the man coming they turned on the lights, frightening him away, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports.
The men never received an money in the botched extortion attempt and later forced the surgeon to drink enough alcohol that he passed out, court documents said.
When the physician woke up, he was tied up in his own car, battered, bruised and severely burned. The car was parked outside the Cheetah’s Gentleman’s Club in Broward.
Still bound, the physician managed to get attention by repeatedly honking the horn of his car until police were called to investigate.
The reason why the plastic surgeon was targeted is unclear; however, Nkorina’s wife had been a patient of the doctor’s at one time, according to the local paper.
Boccio has pleaded guilty to kidnapping and conspiracy to commit kidnapping for his role in the plot. His sentencing has been scheduled for December 5.
Nkorina is also facing charges of kidnapping and conspiracy to commit kidnapping. He was arrested in Spain and is being extradited to the United States.
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