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2 Guilty of Kidnapping in 'Honor Roll' Crime

September 09, 1998|CHRISTINE CASTRO

A kidnapping and extortion case involving Troy High School students ended last week when two men pleaded guilty to felony false imprisonment of a classmate and were sentenced to three years' probation, a prosecutor said Tuesday.

Saminder Singh Grewal and Randeep Singh Dhillon were among seven students charged with kidnapping a 17-year-old Troy High School student at gunpoint and offering "protection" in exchange for money, Deputy Dist. Atty. Michael Grosbard said.

Grewal and Dhillon pleaded guilty in Pomona Superior Court last Thursday, after prosecutors dropped a firearm charge that would have increased their penalties if convicted, Grosbard said.

The victim had been unable to say if the pistol he saw was real, Grosbard said.

The defendants worked together on the extortion scheme that apparently lasted from Sept. 1, 1997, to Nov. 4, 1997, Grosbard said.

Members of the "Honor Roll Mafia," who named themselves after their high academic standing, kidnapped the victim Oct. 8 after more than a month of alleged terrorist threats, Grosbard said.

Another group of students, allegedly members of an Asian gang, offered the victim "protection" in exchange for $500, he said.

Most of the defendants were bound for Ivy League universities and came from wealthy families, Grosbard said.

Other defendants have pleaded to lesser charges, he said.

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