3rd Suspect Arrested in Extortion Scheme
A third suspect has been arrested in a complex extortion scheme originating in Coolbaugh Township, Monroe County. During the investigation detectives from the Monroe County Office of the District Attorney and Pocono Mountain Regional Police learned that Mari-Lyn Normando, 26 of Effort; Brandon Hill, 34 of Tobyhanna and Latina Davenport, 31 of Tobyhanna conspired to blackmail a doctor and extort him for $100,000.
Davenport was arrested on June 11th, 2015 while police were executing a search warrant at her residence in Coolbaugh Township.
In Davenport’s home police recovered, among other items, the cell phone used during the extortion. Police learned that after Normando and Hill had been arrested on June 5th, 2015 Davenport sent a final threatening text message to the victim stating “The tape is going out today! You’re fucked!”. Davenport was home with two of her children at the time police executed the search warrant. In addition to finding evidence implicating Davenport in the extortion scheme, drug paraphernalia was also seized. Davenport was charged with Theft By Extortion, Conspiracy, Receiving Stolen Property, Criminal Use of Communication Facility, Endangering the Welfare of Children and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.
Monroe County Children and Youth Services placed Davenport’s children into foster homes. Davenport was arraigned before MDJ Fluegel, bail was set at $100,000.
Investigation determined that Hill and Davenport had been dating for more than ten years and had several children together. Normando met the couple sometime in 2014 and began regularly using heroin with them, in the presence of their children. Normando, who worked as a dancer for Club 15 in New Jersey, became romantically involved with a wealthy physician from New York City. At some point in 2014 Normando moved in with Hill and Davenport.
Once Hill and Davenport learned that their friend, Normando had a relationship with a wealthy doctor they devised a plan to extort him for cash. Part of the plan included Normando faking a pregnancy to draw him closer to her. The three also planned to obtain compromising video footage of the doctor and threaten to sell it to the media.
While visiting the victim at his home in New Jersey, Normando , using her cell phone, recorded the doctor snorting a powdered white substance. The next day, Normando met with Hill and Davenport. Within a week the trio sent the doctor an email telling him that they would release compromising video footage to several media outlets and report him to the medical misconduct board. The email went on to say that everything would “go away” if the victim paid $100,000 within 30 days.
Initially the victim failed to respond to the email. The trio sent a follow-up email with an edited copy of the compromising video. Once again the victim failed to respond and the trio began text messaging the victim using an application known as Talkatone, LLC. Talkatone gives the user the ability to send text messages and place phone calls using an internet connection while remaining annonymous.
On May 28th, 2015 the victim met with Hill just outside of A Pocono Country Place in Coolbaugh Township. Hill collected $5000 in cash from the victim. The victim thought he would no longer hear from his extortionist.
However the desire for cash took over and the trio contacted the victim again, ordering that he pay an additional $95,000. They asked that the victim start with a $10,000 payment. They arranged for a meeting at the same A Pocono Country Place location.
On June 4th, 2015 Hill, who thought he was meeting with the victim once again, met an undercover detective instead. When police attempted to apprehend him, Hill fled on foot into the woods . Hill was quickly captured nearby. During the incident police had stopped traffic on Route 196 in front of the drop site. Caught in traffic, police discovered Mari-Lyn Normando, the victim’s “girlfriend”, Normando was also taken into custody.
In the days that followed police interviewed several witnesses, executed several search warrants and collected dozens of pieces of evidence. The $5000 that the victim paid to Hill has not been recovered. Police learned that the three had spent the majority of the money on heroin to support their drug habit.
All three defendants will appear at a later date before MDJ Fluegel for a preliminary hearing.