Kidnapping, Murder of Chinese National
July 16, 2018, a wealthy Chinese car dealer was kidnapped in San Gabriel, near Los Angeles. He died after being tied up, repeatedly shocked with a Taser, and severely beaten. The FBI found his body buried in the Mojave Desert in July 2019.
In July 2020, the FBI arrested two Los Angeles-area men as accomplices identified as the "driver" and the "muscle." Both men confessed to the abduction but denied any involvement with the murder.
Two Chinese Nationals Implicated
According to FBI affidavits, two Chinese nationals hired the driver and the muscle man to carry out the abduction. The two Chinese men are alleged to have held the victim bound and gagged in a closet in the town of Corona. Using the Taser, they reportedly forced him to call his father to beg for a $2 million ransom.
The victim's family did not pay the ransom, and the victim died in the closet. The kidnappers allegedly buried him in the desert and returned to China.
In February 2019, both men were indicted by a federal grand jury in Los Angeles. They have been charged with kidnapping and murder. They are in police custody in China. Since the U.S. and China do not have an extradition treaty, they will be prosecuted in China.
Muscle man accepts plea deal
Facing the possibility of life in prison, the muscle man accepted a plea deal in exchange for his cooperation with investigators. He agreed to plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to kidnap. On Oct. 29, 2021, the muscle man was sentenced to 16 years in federal prison and ordered to pay $33,090 in restitution.
When a suspect is clearly guilty, as in the case of the muscle man, it is often wiser to plead guilty to fewer and lesser charges than risk a jury trial where the prosecution is motivated to extract maximum punishment. An experienced defense attorney can negotiate a lighter sentence.
Anyone facing federal criminal charges needs experienced legal counsel. The Sigal Law Group specializes in federal criminal defense. Call 818-325-0570 for a free consultation.