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Reputed Russian Mobster Admits Kidnapping

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An immigrant officials say has ties to the Russian mob has plead guilty in Los Angeles to orchestrating a deadly kidnapping plot. The targets were wealthy businessmen whose bodies were found in the New Melones reservoir.

Ainar Altmanis of Sherman Oaks pleaded guilty today in L.A. federal court to one count of conspiracy and three counts of hostage-taking resulting in death. The Latvian citizen has been cooperating with federal investigators. He faces life in prison when he is sentenced a year from now. Altmanis is among six men with roots in the former Soviet Union who are suspected of holding wealthy Los Angeles area residents for ransom, then killing them.

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