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3 men indicted for allegedly kidnapping, holding man for $1 million ransom

August 14, 2009 |  1:41 pm

Three men who allegedly abducted a Van Nuys man and held him bound and blindfolded for five days for $1 million ransom have been indicted by a federal grand jury on kidnapping charges, the U.S. attorney's office said today.

The two-count indictment accusing the men of conspiracy to commit kidnapping and kidnapping was returned Thursday, alleging the men denied the victim medical treatment for a life-threatening injury caused when a bullet ruptured his bowel.

Vagan Adzhemyan, 41, of Costa Mesa; Suren Garibyan, 32, of North Hollywood; and Galvin Shaun Gibson, 30, of Mira Loma, were initially charged in a criminal complaint. The victim was identified in the indictment only by the initials S.K.

The complaint and indictment allege that Adzhemyan and Garibyan abducted the victim from the underground parking garage of a Van Nuys apartment complex July 29. The victim was shot, shocked with a Taser and forced into a vehicle.

During five days in captivity, he was held at various locations in Southern California, according to the U.S. attorney's office. The kidnappers directed S.K. to call family members and acquaintances in the Los Angeles area and Russia to secure $1 million ransom in exchange for his release.

Garibyan and Adzhemyan used the victim's automatic teller machine card Aug. 3 to withdraw cash from his bank account while Gibson and three pit bulls kept watch over the victim, prosecutors say. S.K. was rescued the same day from Gibson's Mira Loma home by SWAT officers from the Los Angeles Police Department.

The men were taken into custody and have been ordered held without bond. They are scheduled to be arraigned Aug. 24 in federal court, said Brian R. Michael, an assistant U.S. attorney with the violent and organized crime section.

The victim remains hospitalized in critical condition.

"The facts of this case as alleged speak for themselves with regards to the nature of the criminal conduct," Michael said.

The charges in the indictment carry a maximum penalty of life in federal prison.

-- Ann M. Simmons