ORANGE COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY NEWS RELEASE
Case # 17HF0244
Date: February 23, 2017
SANTA ANA, Calif. – Two men were charged yesterday with kidnapping a man during a drug deal in Newport Beach and attempting to extort $130,000 from the victim’s family. Steele Malone Burnside, 28, Anaheim, and Nicholas Andres Hernandez, 29, Murrieta, are each charged with one felony count of kidnapping for ransom and one felony count of attempted extortion by threat. Hernandez faces sentencing enhancements for prior felony convictions for burglary and filing a false claim in 2009 in Riverside, possession and sale of a controlled substance in 2009 in Riverside, possession of a controlled substance in 2014 in Orange County, and not remaining free for more than five years of both prison custody and the commission of the above felony offenses.
If convicted, Burnside and Hernandez face a minimum sentence of 15 years to life in state prison. They are each being held on $2 million bail and are scheduled for a continued arraignment on March 10, 2017, at 10:00 a.m. in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana.
On the afternoon of Feb. 18, 2017, Burnside and Hernandez are accused of kidnapping John Doe during a drug transaction in a shopping center parking lot in Newport Beach. The defendants are accused of driving the victim to an apartment in Anaheim and contacting the victim’s family to demand $130,000. The Newport Beach Police Department (NBPD) investigated this case.
Shortly after midnight on Feb. 20, 2017, Burnside and Hernandez were arrested near the apartment in Anaheim by NBPD.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Cynthia Nichols of the Special Prosecutions Unit is prosecuting this case.
TONY RACKAUCKAS, District Attorney
Susan Kang Schroeder, Chief of Staff
Public Affairs Unit