SANTA ANA — A marijuana grower was convicted Thursday of kidnapping, torturing and mutilating a pot dispensary owner he mistakenly thought had buried $1 million in the California desert.
Kyle Shirakawa Handley was found guilty of a 2012 assault that included burning the man with a blowtorch, shocking him with a Taser, splashing him with bleach and cutting off his penis.
“We hope this verdict provides some solace to the victims in this case,” prosecutor Matt Murphy said.
Handley, 38, of Fountain Valley, is one of three men who were accused of kidnapping the Newport Beach marijuana dispensary owner.
Handley, who had befriended the man, made trips to Las Vegas with him and came to believe that he had hidden profits from his cash-based pot business in the Mojave Desert, prosecutors said.
A scheme was hatched that used surveillance cameras and a GPS tracker to keep tabs on the dispensary owner for months, both at his home and when he made trips to the desert, authorities said.
On Oct. 2, 2012, the kidnappers took the man and his roommate’s girlfriend from