An active duty Marine who is stationed at Camp Pendleton has been charged for allegedly cyberstalking young women with ties to his former hometown of Torrance in what federal officials are calling a “sextortion campaign.”
Johao Miguel Chavarri, 25, allegedly used the online alias “Michael Frito,” to create numerous accounts in an effort to stalk, harass and threaten women who did not given into his demands from 2019 through 2021, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.
Chavarri demanded the women send him nude, sexually explicit or compromising photos and videos of themselves, according to the criminal complaint.
In some cases, the defendant allegedly demanded that the victims send him sexual photos or videos of themselves or of their feet. He demanded that the victims respond to him and communicate with him online, officials said.
In multiple cases, Chavarri would threaten that if the victims didn’t comply, he would publish the sexually explicit photos or videos online or on well-known pornography websites. He is also accused of threatening to send the photos or videos to victims’ boyfriends, friends, family members or employers who he would often identify by name, officials said.
In one message sent by Chavarri to multiple victims through Instagram, he stated that he would spend his “whole life ruining” their lives, according to the criminal complaint. He also allegedly created fake social media accounts using some of the victims’ names and sent harassing messages to some of their friends and family members.
Chavarri was arrested Tuesday and charged with stalking. He is set to appear in court in downtown L.A. Wednesday and faces a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison, officials said.
United States Marine Corps 2nd Lt. Ramarro Lamar released a statement regarding the charges levied against Chavarri, saying the 1st Marine Division is “closely monitoring the case.”
“The Division is committed to justice and the rule of law and is fully cooperating with the investigating agencies,” the statement added.
The case was investigated by FBI, with assistance from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.
Anyone who believes they were victimized by Chavarri, or is aware of another victim in this case, is asked to call the FBI’s Los Angeles field office at 310-477-6565.