former Marine sentenced to 5 years in prison for cyberstalking young women as part of a campaign of “sextortion” while on active duty | USAO-CDCA

LOS ANGELES – A South Bay man has been sentenced to 60 months in prison for cyberstalking several young women in a campaign of “sextortion” he carried out while an active member of the United States Marine Corps, announced now the Department of Justice.

Johao Miguel Chavarri, 26, aka “Michael Frito,” of Torrance, was sentenced late Thursday afternoon by U.S. District Judge Maame Ewusi-Mensah Frimpong, who also ordered him to pay a fine of $15,000.

Chavarri pleaded guilty May 27 to three counts of cyberstalking.

From May 2019 to February 2021, Chavarri stalked and sent anonymous threats to numerous victims, including the three victims referred to in the court documents.

Chavarri, often using the name “Frito”, reached out to the victims on social media platforms including Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter, complimented their looks and/or publicly posted photos, and suggested a relationship in which he would pay the victim to send him photos or videos. Some of the victims initially agreed to Chavarri’s requests and sent him nude, sexually explicit or compromising photos. When victims either refused Chavarri’s initial request for photos, refused to send him additional photos or videos, or refused to continue communicating with him online, Chavarri began to harass, threaten and extort victims using many online accounts.

In most cases, he threatened to post the victims’ sex photos and videos online or on well-known porn websites and distribute the sex photos or videos to the victims’ boyfriends, friends, families or employers – people he often specifically identified by Name. Chavarri threatened his victims, their friends and family that he would ruin their lives. He knew many of his victims personally.

“Perhaps most disturbing is the emotional distress that [Chavarri] intentionally inflicted on his victims,” prosecutors argued in a sentencing memorandum. “He terrified and terrorized them. Young women feared not only for their privacy and relationships with friends, family, employers and community, but also for their physical safety. They have suffered and continue to suffer significant emotional harm. »

The FBI investigated this case with the assistance of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.

Assistant United States Attorney Lauren Restrepo of the Cybercrime and Intellectual Property Section and Senior Counsel Mona Sedky of the Department of Justice’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section continued the case.

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