Feds take over violent Calaveras drug, torture case
SAN ANDREAS — An extreme case involving allegations of torture, kidnapping and a significant drug heist last June that resulted in the death of one of seven suspects after he exited a moving vehicle being pursued by law enforcement through Calaveras County has now been taken over by federal authorities.
On Wednesday, a two-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Fresno was unsealed. It charges six defendants with one count of conspiracy to commit robbery affecting interstate commerce and one count of robbery affecting interstate commerce in connection with the robbery of a Calaveras County marijuana distributor, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of California.
Five of the defendants are from out of state: Talia Khio, 42, of Chicago; Dontia Arrington, 38, of Skokie, Illinois; Mark Noble, 32, of Willamette, Illinois; Jimmy Khio, 41, of Morton Grove, Illinois; and Carlos Merkhai, 42, of Phoenix. The sixth, Roddy Aundre Johnson Jr., 30, is from San Diego.
According to court documents, the six defendants are suspected of conducting an armed robbery of a Calaveras County marijuana distributor in Murphys on June 24.