Federal prosecutors have indicted three New Jersey men for allegedly kidnapping a man in Queens, then torturing him in an effort to extort $150,000 in cash.
Prosecutors with the Eastern District of New York announced the charges against Aasim Boone, Jarrett Bruce and Lesly Valentin, saying they subjected the victim to inhumane conditions during their diabolical plot.
“A victim subjected to kidnapping, brutal beatings, inhumane torture, and cash demands — this not a plot from a movie – these three defendants allegedly conspired and carried out these despicable acts on their target,” said James Smith, the FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge.
According to court documents, the three men forced the victim into their car at gunpoint near his Astoria home in December 2022, before driving him across the Hudson River and holding him captive for nearly five hours.
During his captivity, the assailants allegedly beat the victim, doused him with bleach and burned his back and legs with a blowtorch. The victim told authorities that they also sliced his ear open with a knife.
The three suspects eventually took the victim back to New York, where they left him on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.
Still, their plot continued, as they sent the victim threatening text messages — promising to harm him further, and subject his family to similar abuse if he did not give them $150,000 in cash and 50 pounds of marijuana, authorities said.
“The defendants targeted an unsuspecting victim, abducted him outside of his home and subjected him to unimaginable cruelty—all in their efforts for financial gain,” said EDNY chief Breon Peace.
According to prosecutors, the suspects all had “extensive criminal histories,” and have been linked with a series of burglaries as part of a gang stationed in New Jersey.
One of the suspects, Valentin, was in custody already after previously being arrested in connection with a different kidnapping.
The other two suspects were arrested this week, and all three face charges of kidnapping conspiracy.
If convicted, the trio faces a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.