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DR. YO

Couple Arrested for Extortion

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CARROLLTON -- A local couple was locked up, accused of targeting would-be sex predators in their crimes.

Investigators say they got the idea from the popular Dateline NBC series "To catch a predator," where men are set up by reporter Chris Hansen then turned over to police.

But, in this Carroll County case, the suspects had a different motivation -- money.

The fair has begun in Carroll County but that's not what people are talking about on the square.

"It's just repulsive," Kelly Strock said. "So I don't know, I guess they're both pretty bad."

People don't know where to direct their outrage, at the predators, in this case the victims, or the suspects, 22-year-old Michael Barnett, AWOL from the Army for two years, and Barnett's wife, 21-year old Maria Catini -- barely five feet tall -- from Italy.

Both face charges they used nude pictures and video of Maria to lure potential predators to Carroll County.

"She was emailing people and telling them -- I think he was involved in it also - [that] she was fifteen years old, soliciting herself for sex," Dale Williams with the Carroll County Sheriff's Department said.

The couple then allegedly would have the men meet them at Riley's Church near the couple's home in Salineville where their sting turned to extortion.

According to the sheriff, Maria would lure the victim out of the car, Barnett would take pictures, and then as many as a dozen accomplices would ambush the potential predator.

"We've got twelve to fourteen people who would actually rob them with ball bats, take their money," Williams said.

But not only take money and jewelry but also use the pictures and their email to blackmail the victims into paying more.

But the fact that no one is without blame here poses a special challenge to police.

The suspected predators could face charges as well.

The sheriff's office sent the couple's computer to the state crime lab where they're looking at e-mail and pictures to try and identify more suspects.

"The victims don't want to talk to us," Williams said.

Source

Hmmmmm......who should recieve the longer sentence? Hmmmmm :unsure2::unsure2:

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Where is Carrol County? I did not see it at the source.

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Where is Carrol County? I did not see it at the source.

Somewhere near Cleveland. :yes::yes:

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:o Man people are just weird. The victims don't want to talk to police so I figure they aren't going to get too far with this case. Makes me laugh and want to barf all at the same time. :lol:

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