Area man found guilty in federal extortion case - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |


Area man found guilty in federal extortion case

FALLS COUNTY - A Marlin man was found guilty in a federal extortion case that was held in Waco.

Reginald Ricks was convicted of interstate communications with intent to extort, receiving proceeds of extortion and tampering with evidence by U.S. District Judge Walter Smith. He faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted on all three counts. Ricks is out on bond and sentencing is scheduled for March 19 at 1 p.m.

According to an affidavit from the FBI, the Marlin Police Department was contacted by a person on September 14, 2013, who allegedly received text messages from Ricks demanding money in exchange for not releasing defamatory information.

The victim told police that Ricks demanded $4 million to not release the information to the media, police, churches, and the Texas Education Agency. A following text message reduced the demand to $400,000 in cash. The affidavit said Ricks intended to use the defamatory information to damage the reputation of the victim.

The victim agreed to work with police in the investigation and agreed to tell Ricks he would pay the demand to keep the information from getting out. The victim texted Ricks that he would agree to pay Ricks and said he would leave the money at a Marlin park.

An undercover officer was at the scene as the transaction took place. Ricks showed up to pick up the envelope of cash and check, and he was arrested following a short car case. According to the affidavit, during the chase, Ricks threw the envelope, cash and a torn-up check out of the window of his car.

Officers later recovered the items he threw out of the window and they matched the money placed in the Marlin park by police. One of the bills was also found in Rick's car.

Click here for the affidavit for this case.
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