Ethan Avalos: Shoe Salesman Charged with Extortion Involving Prostitute
|Perhaps Avalos should've studied up beforehand.|
-- Alleged email from Ethan Mikeal Avalos, to the man he was extorting.
The United States Attorney's Office yesterday indicted Ethan Mikeal Avalos on extortion charges.
According to the indictment, from late 2007 to December, 2008, Avalos threatened a medical professional with exposing the fact that the man had several paid sexual encounters with a woman identified as "Brittany" whom he had contacted through Craigslist. The sexual encounters occurred at the Drury Hotel in Chesterfield. In response to these threats, the victim made a series of cash drop-offs totaling approximately $8,000 to an individual at the registration desk of the Drury Hotel in late 2008.
Avalos provided the victim with the false information that he was a Marine and was being sent overseas, and did not contact the victim again until sometime in November 2009. The indictment alleges that in November 2009, Avalos renewed contact with the victim and once again threatened to expose the sexual encounters if more money was not paid. When the victim did not immediately agree to pay more money, Avalos sent the victim an e-mail in December 2009, which contained the following threatening language : Ethan Mikeal Avalos The e-mail message goes on to state that "my platoon is losing guys everyday," and directs that any future payments would not be made at the Drury.
Later in December 2009, 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, a retail shoe 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 the defendant.
Ethan Mikeal Avalos, 26, St. Louis City, was indicted by a federal grand jury on one felony count of extortion by interstate communications.
If convicted, this charge carries a maximum penalty of two years in prison and/or fines up to $250,000.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney James E. Crowe, Jr., is handling the case for the U.S. Attorney's Office.
The charges set forth in an indictment are merely accusations, and each defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.