Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Watch Live


Marine at Camp Pendleton arrested on federal cyberstalking charge

John Carleton

An active-duty Camp Pendleton Marine is facing a federal charge of cyberstalking young women with connections to his former hometown of Torrance as part of a "sextortion" campaign, the U.S. Attorney's Office announced Wednesday.

RELATED: Marines test replacement for older amphibious assault vehicle

Johao Miguel Chavarri, 25, of Oceanside, was arrested Tuesday and made his initial appearance Wednesday afternoon in Los Angeles federal court on a charge of stalking.


Chavarri was released on a $30,000 bond with travel restrictions and location monitoring. He is expected to be arraigned March 8.

According to the criminal complaint, from 2019 through 2021, Chavarri used the online alias "Michael Frito" and created various online accounts to stalk and threaten women, demanding that they send him, among other things, nude or sexually explicit photos and videos of themselves or

their feet.

Chavarri faces up to five years in federal prison, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said the alleged "sextortion" threats continued in some cases for more than a year.


According to the complaint, he allegedly told victims that if they refused to comply with his demands, he would post sexually explicit photos and videos of them online or on well-known pornography websites. He also allegedly threatened to send the explicit materials to their boyfriends, friends, families or employers, whom he would often identify by name, prosecutors said.

According to the complaint, Chavarri sent one message to multiple victims via Instagram, saying he would spend his "whole life ruining" their lives.

KPBS has created a public safety coverage policy to guide decisions on what stories we prioritize, as well as whose narratives we need to include to tell complete stories that best serve our audiences. This policy was shaped through months of training with the Poynter Institute and feedback from the community. You can read the full policy here.