South Florida plastic surgeon kidnapped, tortured with blowtorch, prosecutors say

Doctor dumped outside strip club after hourslong ordeal

By Tim Swift - Digital Editor

Justin Boccio, 33, of Deerfield Beach, and Serge Nkorina, a 53-year-old Spanish national, face charges of kidnapping and using a firearm during a violent crime.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - A Deerfield Beach man is awaiting trial after federal prosecutors said he and an accomplice kidnapped and brutally tortured a South Florida plastic surgeon with a blowtorch in an elaborate plot to steal money.

Justin Boccio, 33, and Serge Nkorina, a 53-year-old Spanish national, face charges of kidnapping and using a firearm during a violent crime. Prosecutors announced the charges against the men Wednesday.

According to court documents, the plastic surgeon was shopping at a Broward County Walmart on Jan. 14 around 6:45 p.m. when he was approached by an armed man in the parking lot and forced into a nearby moving van. The captors blindfolded and bound the surgeon, who was not identified in the court papers. During the ride to a storage facility in Margate, the men stunned the surgeon multiple times using a Taser, the document said.

Once at the storage facility, the men tied the surgeon to a chair and used a blowtorch to burn the tops of his hands and beat him, the documents said. Eventually, the men began questioning the surgeon about whether he had access to money that night. The surgeon told the men that there was $50,000 inside his home and told them where to find it.

The surgeon told authorities that the captors were hard to see because they wore baseball hats outfitted with bright headlamps. At some point, the men forced the surgeon to drink alcohol and  he passed out, the documents said.

Around 4 a.m. the next morning, police found the victim bound inside his car outside Cheetah Gentlemen's Club in Hallandale Beach. The victim continuously hit the car's horn to attract the attention of police. 

Meanwhile, the men traveled to the surgeon's home in Miami-Dade County in an attempt to steal the $50,000 but were scared off when a family member turned on the lights as the men approached the door, the documents said.

Investigators were able to connect Boccio, a former flight instructor, and Nkornia to the abduction using videos from surveillance cameras at multiple locations, including the Walmart. Authorities also found evidence that Boccio and Nkornia had stalked the surgeon before the abduction, visiting his Broward County medical office, the documents said. 

Phone records and purchases, including renting the moving van, help tied the men to the abduction, the documents said.

Boccio was arrested April 4 and is currently being held in federal custody in Miami. Nkorina, who was arrested by local authorities in Spain, is awaiting extradition to South Florida.

Both men face life in prison if convicted, prosecutors said.

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