Feds take over vi­o­lent Calav­eras drug, tor­ture case

Lodi News-Sentinel - - PAGE TWO - By Joe Gold­een

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.

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