2 charged with kidnapping man in Newport Beach

Two men are facing felony charges in connection with the alleged kidnapping of a man during a drug deal in Newport Beach last weekend, authorities said.

Prosecutors on Wednesday charged Steele Malone Burnside, 28, of Anaheim and Nicholas Andres Hernandez, 29, of Murrieta with one felony count each of kidnapping for ransom and one felony count of attempted extortion by threat, according to the Orange County district attorney's office.

Prosecutors allege that Burnside and Hernandez kidnapped a man Saturday during a drug transaction in a shopping center parking lot in Newport Beach. The two are accused of driving the man to an apartment in Anaheim and demanding $130,000 from his family.

Newport Beach police arrested Burnside and Hernandez on Monday near the apartment.

If convicted, the two could face a minimum sentence of 15 years to life in state prison.

Hernandez faces possible sentencing enhancements for previous felony convictions in Riverside and Orange County in 2009 and 2014. He was convicted of burglary, filing a false claim and possession and sale of a controlled substance, according to the district attorney's office.

Burnside and Hernandez are being held in Orange County Jail with bail set at $2 million each. They are expected to be arraigned March 10.


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