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Complaint: Spoiled food lead to extortion attempt

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Mike Heine
December 21, 2007
— A Whitewater man attempted to extort money from a Mexican grocery store because he was upset with that business for selling spoiled tortillas to his mother, according to court documents.

Israel Andrade Jr., 23, of 810 N. Walton Drive, No. 5, faces a charge of threats to injure or accuse of a crime, a felony punishable by six years in prison and a $10,000 fine.


According to the complaint:


Andrade, in late November, called the LaPreferita store in Whitewater alleging to be a “Bob Johnson” from the “State Department of Food Administration.”


He told the owner he could pay $5,000 to stop a lawsuit against the business because it was selling expired food.


The owner, Luis Islas Martinez, said he did not believe the caller and reported the call to police.


Andrade called back and said Islas Martinez could pay $1,000 to drop the lawsuit and he would never get a call again. Andrade gave instructions to leave the money in a wooden box.


The next day, he called Islas Martinez and gave directions to a different drop-off point, a garbage can at a car wash on Main Street at 9 p.m.


A police officer made a drop, and minutes later, police staking out the area saw a man near the garbage can.


The suspect was identified in a surveillance video and arrested six days later.


Andrade admitted he spoke to Islas Martinez to set up an exchange of money. He told police he had been stressed about losing his job and he needed money. He also was upset about his mother being sold spoiled tortillas.



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