Oceanside, California - A California man was arrested Tuesday and made his initial appearance in federal court Wednesday to face charges that he cyberstalked multiple young women in California in a “sextortion” campaign.
Johao Miguel Chavarri, 25, aka Michael Frito, of Oceanside and Torrance, was arrested yesterday in Oceanside, where he is stationed as an active-duty member of the U.S. Marine Corps. According to the criminal complaint, from 2019 through 2021, Chavarri, using the online persona “Michael Frito,” created and used numerous online accounts to repeatedly stalk, harass, and threaten women who would not give in to his demands that, among other things, they send him nude, sexually explicit, or otherwise compromising photos and videos of themselves. This type of conduct is commonly referred to as sextortion. According to the complaint, in some cases, his cyberstalking, threats, and sextortion demands continued for over a year.
As alleged, Chavarri’s harassing and extortionate threats and demands of the victims generally followed a pattern. In some instances, he allegedly demanded that the victims provide him with sexual photos or videos of themselves or photos or videos of their feet. In other instances, he demanded that they respond to him and communicate online with him. According to the complaint, in multiple instances, he threatened that, if his victims refused to comply with his demands, he would publish sexual photos and videos of the victims online or on well-known pornography websites and/or distribute the sexual photos or videos to the victims’ boyfriends, friends, families or employers, whom he would often identify by name. As alleged, Chavarri also created fake social media accounts mimicking some of the victims’ names and sent harassing messages to some of the victims’ friends and family members. One message sent by Chavarri to multiple victims via Instagram stated that he would spend his “whole life ruining” their lives.
Chavarri is charged with cyberstalking. If convicted, he faces up to five years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
The FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office is investigating the case, with assistance from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.
Anyone who believes they are a victim in this case or is aware of a victim in this case is urged to contact the FBI's Los Angeles Field Office, which can be reached 24 hours a day at (310) 477- 6565.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Lauren Restrepo for the Central District of California and Senior Trial Attorney Mona Sedky of the Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section are prosecuting the case.
A criminal complaint is merely an allegation, and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.