St. Louis man sentenced on extortion charges - KMOV.com

St. Louis man sentenced on extortion charges

(KMOV)—Today, The United States Attorney's Office announced  that Ethan Mikeal Avalos was sentenced to 8 months of home confinement and five years of probation. 

Ethan Mikeal Avalos, 27, St. Louis City, pleaded guilty last June to one felony count of extortion by interstate communications, and appeared today for sentencing before United States District Judge E. Richard Webber.

Court documents indicated that, from late 2007 to December 2008, Avalos threatened a medical professional (victim) with exposing personal information. Avalos threatened to expose details of the victims several paid sexual encounters with a woman identified as "Brittany" whom he had contacted through Craigslist. 

In late 2008, in response to these threats, the victim made several cash drop-offs totaling approximately $8000. The cash was dropped off to an individual at the registration desk of the Drury Hotel, where the victim had been meeting “Brittany. Avalos was ordered to pay back the $8000 in restitution. 
Avalos lied to the victim saying he was a Marine and was being sent overseas. He did not contact the victim again until November 2009, at which time Avalos, once again threatened to expose the sexual encounters if more money was not paid. 
In December of 2009, after the victim did not immediately agree to pay more money, Avalos sent the victim an e-mail which contained threatening language.
"You are luckier than Tiger you were given the chance to have your big mistake kept away from your wife/media/practice." The e-mail message goes on to state that "my platoon is losing guys every day," and directs that any future payments would not be made at the Drury.
Later that month, the victim agreed to make one last payment to end the threats. Avalos agreed that in return for a cash payment of $3,500, the threats would end and this would be "our last dealing." Avalos directed that the payment should be made to an individual identified as "Ethan" at the Journeys Kidz retail store in West County Mall.
He stated in an e-mail that he was still "on pretty strict duty" and had limited time before he would have to "check in at the barracks." On December 29, 2009, the victim made a cash payment in the amount of $3,500 to "Ethan" at the store as directed. “Ethan” was identified as the defendant.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.    Assistant United States Attorney James E. Crowe, Jr., handled the case for the U.S. Attorney's Office.

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