Fugitive Home Remodeler is Really in Trouble Now

Nasir Kamaruddin Shamsi is in so much trouble.

Now, if authorities could only find him.

According to the Orange County District Attorney's office, the 48-year-old Placentia home contractor allegedly:

* Developed a plan to kidnap an Orange man whose home Shamsi was hired to remodel;
* Got two of his laborers to kidnap the man;
* Helped keep the victim--bound, gagged and blindfolded--upstairs in the semi-renovated home for two days;
* Chose a Long Beach motel, where the victim was moved to;
* Kept the victim--still -bound, gagged and blindfolded--at the motel against his will for 13 days;
* Using the victim's credit cards for those two weeks;
* Demanding a $10,000 ransom from the victim's girlfriend.
* Driving with an accomplice to meet the girlfriend and pick up the money.

Unfortunately for Shamsi, police were waiting at the location also. He and his pal were arrested, as were others tied to the alleged plot. All of them, except Shamsi, has pleaded guilty to the 2006 crime.

But wait, there's more . . .

While Shamsi was out on bail on the kidnapping charge, he was accused of operating an illegal marijuana cultivation farm out of a Laguna Niguel home belonging to a female friend, who was also charged. A pre-trial hearing for Karen Russell, 51, is scheduled for Jan. 12, 2010.

As a result of the new charges, Shamsi's bail was increased to $1 million. He was supposed to appear in Judge Francisco Briseño's Santa Ana courtroom on Monday. Shamsi did not. Authorities believe he has fled, possibly the country, possibly to India, where he has family and connections. A no-bail warrant was issued for his arrest.

Shamsi's victim, the man who was bound, gagged and blindfolded, has fled the country as well, out of fear.

The DA's full statement on the case follows . . .

December 17, 2009

*Defendant fled after bail was increased to $1 million as a result of new illegal marijuana cultivation charges against him

SANTA ANA - A warrant has been issued for a fugitive charged with orchestrating the kidnapping for ransom of a homeowner, whose house he was remodeling, and holding him for $10,000 while the victim was bound, blindfolded, and gagged for two weeks. Nasir Kamaruddin Shamsi, 48, Placentia, is charged with one felony count of kidnapping for ransom and faces a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted. A no-bail warrant was issued for his arrest Monday, Dec. 14, 2009, after the defendant fled and failed to appear for a scheduled court date (details below).

Co-defendants Esau Abrajan, 26, Rancho Santa Margarita, and Eric Anthony Velasquez, 28, Rancho Santa Margarita, pleaded guilty Oct. 15, 2009, to one felony count each of kidnapping with the use of a dangerous weapon, grand theft, possession of a stolen vehicle, and possession of stolen property. They are expected to be sentenced Jan. 22, 2010, to 11 years in state prison. They will not receive credit for the nine years they have been in custody, and will serve a total of 20 years each in this case.

Co-defendant Brian David Good, 35, Huntington Beach, pleaded guilty to one felony count of kidnapping on Feb. 28, 2006, and was sentenced to five years in state prison. Scott Douglass Burns, 50, Huntington Beach, pleaded guilty to one felony count each of kidnapping and residential burglary. He is expected to be sentenced to nine years and four months in state prison at his sentencing on Feb. 26, 2010.

Kidnapping Case
In 2002, victim
Sohiel D. hired a contractor to remodel a home he owned in Orange, which he used as a rental property. The contractor had several employees, including his brother Shamsi, who worked on the house. While working on the property, Shamsi is accused of developing a plan to kidnap the homeowner, Sohiel D., and hold him for ransom. Shamsi is accused of enlisting the help of two brothers, Velasquez and Abrajan, to kidnap the victim.

On March 18, 2002, Velasquez and Abrajan kidnapped Sohiel D. from the house, tied him up, blindfolded him, and gagged his mouth with duct tape. They kept the victim upstairs in the semi-renovated home for two days. After two days, Velasquez and Abrajan moved the victim, who was still bound and gagged, to a motel in Long Beach. Shamsi is accused of choosing the motel. Burns drove the U-Haul truck used to move the victim.

For 13 days, Shamsi is accused of holding the victim against his will and leaving him tied, blindfolded and gagged with the help of Velasquez and Abrajan. Shamsi is accused of using the victim's credit cards for those two weeks. After 13 days of holding the victim, Shamsi is accused of making a $10,000 ransom demand to Sohiel D.'s girlfriend. The girlfriend contacted the police, who had been looking for the missing victim for the two weeks since his disappearance. Shamsi is accused of driving with Good to meet the victim's girlfriend to pick up the ransom money. The two defendants were arrested by police at the ransom pick-up location.

Velasquez was in the room with the victim when officers arrived at the motel to rescue Sohiel D. Abrajan showed up at the motel while officers were in the room. Both defendants were arrested. The victim was transported to a hospital to be treated for dehydration and minor cuts and abrasions.

Sohiel D. reported that he was fed three or four times and allowed to shower twice during the two weeks that he was held. He said that while he was bound and gagged, the defendants would have small parties and gatherings in the motel room where people would do drugs around him and shoot rubber pellets at him to humiliate him. The victim, now 45 years old, moved out of the country due to the emotional stress and fear caused by the kidnapping.

Circumstances of Fugitive Warrant
In May 2006, while out on bail for the kidnapping case, Shamsi is accused of operating an illegal marijuana cultivation farm out of a Laguna Niguel home belonging to a female friend and co-defendant, 51-year-old Karen Russell. On May 6, 2006, officers searched the home and discovered the illegal marijuana. Following an investigation, Shamsi and Russell were charged Oct. 28, 2009, with felonies for cultivating marijuana, possessing marijuana for sale, and child abuse. The charges include a crime-bail-crime sentencing enhancement against Shamsi for committing a felony while out of custody on bail for another felony case. Russell is scheduled for a pre-trial hearing Jan. 12, 2010, in this case.

As a result of the new charges, the People filed a motion Nov. 9, 2009, to increase Shamsi's bail to $1 million. The motion was heard Friday, Dec. 11. 2009. The Honorable Francisco Briseño granted the People's motion to increase Shamsi's bail to $1 million, and ordered the defendant to return on Monday, Dec. 14, 2009, to surrender or post bail. The Court did not order the defendant be taken into custody at the time of the bail motion.

On Monday, Dec. 14, 2009, Shamsi failed to appear in court. He is accused of fleeing. A no-bail warrant was issued for his arrest.

Shamsi is a Unites States citizen with family and connections in India. Anyone with information regarding Shamsi's whereabouts is asked to contact their local law enforcement agency or Supervising District Attorney Investigator Anthony Sosnowski at (714) 347-8814.

Deputy District Attorney Andy Manssourian of the Special Prosecutions Unit is prosecuting this case.


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