A federal jury returned a guilty verdict last week, against 56-year-old Serge Nkorina, a man who kidnapped a victim at gunpoint and later tortured him inside a storage container with a blow torch.
At trial, Assistant U.S. Attorneys Robert F. Moore and Marc Chattah presented evidence that from late 2018 to early 2019, Serge Nkorina and his co-conspirator, Justin Boccio, plotted to kidnap and torture a victim in an attempt to obtain tens of thousands of dollars from him.
The victim was a South Florida plastic surgeon, Dr. Nader Shehata, who had treated Nkorina’s wife.
To learn the victim’s daily movements, Nkorina and Boccio stalked the victim at home and work and placed a GPS tracker on the bottom of his car. To get ready for the torture session, Nkorina and Boccio purchased devices from hardware and medical supply stores and rented a storage container in Margate, Florida to use as the torture site.
Prosecutors presented evidence that on January 14, 2019, Nkorina and Boccio followed the victim from work to a supermarket. When the victim returned to his car with groceries, they tased his neck and threw him into a van.
Nkorina and Boccio took the victim to the Margate storage container, where they tortured him for hours.
Nkorina burned the victim’s hands with a blow torch, forcing the victim to reveal the security gate and door codes to his home. When Nkorina and Boccio tried to use the information that night to enter the victim’s home, they were scared off by a light connected to the doorbell camera.
Nkorina and Boocio aborted the plan and dumped the victim at a strip club parking lot.
The jury found Nkorina guilty of conspiring to commit kidnapping and kidnapping. Senior U.S. District Judge Paul C. Huck will sentence Nkorina on February 15, 2021, at 2:00 p.m., in federal district court in Miami. Nkorina faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Justin Boccio previously pled guilty and is currently serving a 135-month sentence.
Juan Antonio Gonzalez, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida and George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, made the announcement.
FBI Miami investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Robert F. Moore and Marc Chattah are prosecuting the case.
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