SANTA ANA, Calif. – A man was convicted and sentenced to 11 years in state prison today for kidnapping his associate during a drug deal in Newport Beach.
|Nicholas Andres Hernandez, 30, Murrieta||Pleaded guilty today to the following felony count:
|11 years in state prison
|Steele Malone Burnside, 29, Anaheim||Pleaded guilty on May 10, 2018, to the following felony count:
||Five years in state prison|
Circumstances of the Case
- On Feb.18, 2017, Thomas Prince (Case # 17HF0430) met Hernandez, Burnside, and John Doe in a parking lot in Newport Coast to purchase large quantities of marijuana worth over $100,000.
- Prince drove Hernandez and John Doe to a nearby resort to conduct the illegal exchange inside a private hotel villa.
- Once inside the room, Prince robbed Hernandez and John Doe at gunpoint and stole 60 pounds of marijuana, as well as their personal belongings.
- Burnside and Hernandez kidnapped their associate John Doe following the robbery and drove the victim to an apartment in Anaheim. The defendants held the victim hostage in exchange for the estimated value of the marijuana lost as a result of the robbery.
- The Newport Beach Police Department (NBPD) investigated this case after robbery victim John Doe’s family member reported him missing on Feb 18, 2017. They were arrested by NBPD on Feb 20, 2017.
- NBPD identified Prince as the robbery suspect following the kidnapping investigation and arrested the defendant on March 29, 2017.
Prosecutor: Senior Deputy District Attorney Paul Chrisopoulos, Special Prosecutions Unit
*Codefendant sentenced to five years earlier this month
Orange County District Attorney / Case # 17HF0244 / May 30, 2018