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Press Release

Armed Kidnappers Waterboarded and Threatened to Kill Victim at Plantation AirBnB

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Florida

MIAMI – On Oct. 16, 2023, Jeffry Arista, 32, and his brother, Jonathan Arista, 29, had their initial appearances in federal court on federal kidnapping charges.  

According to allegations contained in the criminal complaint on October 13, 2023, Jeffry Arista, Jonathan Arista, and Raymond Gomez committed an armed kidnapping of the victim outside of the victim’s apartment. After forcefully transporting the victim to an AirBnB, a rental property located in Plantation, Florida, the kidnappers realized that they had abducted the wrong person. Rather than releasing the victim, the kidnappers waterboarded and threatened to kill the victim while pointing firearms, tasers, and an electric drill at the kidnapped victim. Upon learning that the intended target was at a business in Pompano Beach, Florida, the kidnappers forcefully brought the victim to the business and ordered the victim to go into the business and lure out the intended target. Upon entering the business, the victim called law enforcement and all three kidnappers were arrested.

A criminal complaint charges all three defendants with kidnapping, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1201(a) and conspiracy to kidnap, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1201(c).  If convicted, each defendant faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.  

Raymond Gomez has not yet had his initial appearance on the charges. 

U.S. Attorney Markenzy Lapointe for the Southern District of Florida and Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey B. Veltri of the FBI, Miami Field Office, announced the pending criminal complaint charges.

FBI Miami investigated the case, with assistance from the Broward Sheriff’s Office and Fort Lauderdale Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ajay Alexander is prosecuting this case. 

A criminal complaint contains mere allegations, and all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at or at, under case number 23-mj-6485.



Public Affairs Unit

U.S. Attorney’s Office

Southern District of Florida

Updated October 17, 2023

Violent Crime