Florida men charged with kidnapping, waterboarding and torturing man in case of mistaken identity


(PLANTATION, Fla.) — Two Florida brothers and another man were charged with federal kidnapping, waterboarding, and torturing a man despite knowing he was not the target of their plot, according to court documents unsealed on Tuesday.

A man came out of his house on Oct. 13 in Plantation, Florida, and went into his apartment’s parking garage between 7:30 and 8 a.m. when he was approached by three men, later identified as Jeffry Arista, Jonathan Arista, and Raymond Gomez, who brandished a firearm and told him to get in a black car with police lights, the complaint said.

“Jeffry Arista asked the victim to identify himself, implying they had kidnapped the wrong individual. The kidnappers further confirmed this when they removed the victim’s wallet from his pocket and checked his identification. At this point, the kidnappers began inquiring why the coworker was using the victim’s car this past Thursday and demanded to know where the money was,” the criminal complaint, unsealed in the Southern District of Florida, said.

“The money was in reference to what the coworker allegedly owed the kidnappers. The kidnappers threatened the victim by putting an electric drill to his skin and pointing firearms towards his head,” the complaint continued.

The apartment the men allegedly brought the victim to was an Airbnb and at one point, the men brought the victim into the bathroom, laid him down, and poured water on his head — “effectively waterboarding him,” the complaint alleged.

When they figured out it was in fact the wrong person, the men then allegedly “brainstormed” on how to get the correct person to them, which involved the victim being forced to call the correct target and make plans with him, according to the complaint.

In order to solicit a large police presence, the victim went into his coworker’s business on Oct. 14 and said he had a bomb, the complaint alleged. When law enforcement showed up, one of the alleged kidnappers was in the distance filming the victim, and the victim pointed out to law enforcement he was the one who allegedly kidnapped him.

Law enforcement kept investigating the incident and Gomez was later arrested after he allegedly admitted to kidnapping the wrong person.

Jeffry Arista and Jonathan Arista had their initial appearances in federal court on kidnapping charges on Monday. Gomez has not yet had a court appearance.

Lawyers for the men did not respond to ABC News’ request for comment.

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