Olympia man accused of extortion in drug case

jpawloski@theolympian.comNovember 29, 2013 

An Olympia man is charged with extortion for allegedly threatening and beating a man for “careless drug dealing” that he claimed led to a Thurston County Narcotics Task Force raid at the suspect’s residence in August, court papers state.

The suspect, Justin Erickson, is accused of going to the man’s Olympia home on Nels Road on Oct. 25 and threatening the man for being responsible for the raid at his former residence in the 3400 block of Sixth Avenue NW in Olympia. Erickson also allegedly told the man that “he had to find out who was responsible” for the earlier raid, according to court papers.

Erickson is accused in court papers of pinning the man to his bed, punching him repeatedly in the face and knocking out two of the man’s teeth. He also grabbed wire cutters and threatened to cut off one of the man’s toes, court papers state.

Erickson also told the man he was responsible for paying him $3,800 he needed when he lost his security deposit and had to find a new apartment after being evicted from his residence on Sixth Avenue, according to court papers.

Erickson, 27, is charged in Thurston County Superior Court with first-degree extortion, second-degree assault, unlawful imprisonment and unlawful possession of methamphetamine in connection with the incident. His arraignment is scheduled for Dec. 10 in Thurston County Superior Court.

When detectives arrested Erickson on Nov. 21 at his new address in the 3300 block of Windolph Lane, he had a small bag of methamphetamine in his pocket, court papers state. When detectives served a search warrant at his former address on Sixth Avenue, Erickson was not there, but a roommate was in possession of an ounce of methamphetamine, according to court papers.

Erickson appears to have blamed the man who lives on Nels Road for the August task force raid that resulted in the seizure of an ounce of methamphetamine from the Sixth Avenue apartment.

The alleged victim of the assault and extortion went to law enforcement Nov. 18 to report the Oct. 25 incident. Detectives noticed that the man was missing two upper teeth, which was consistent with his story of being assaulted, court papers state.

He “did not initially report the incident because he feared additional, more violent retaliation,” court papers state.

When detectives arrested Erickson on Nov. 21, Erickson admitted going to the man’s residence on Oct. 25, “for answers regarding the August raid,” court papers state. Erickson also admitted punching the man in the face twice and “telling him not to insult his intelligence,” according to court papers.

However, Erickson said the incident was not as violent as the man had described. He also denied demanding $3,800, and denied knocking out any of the man’s teeth.

Erickson is out of jail after posting $10,000 bail. He was ordered not to have any contact with the alleged victim as he awaits the disposition of his case.

First-degree extortion is a class B felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.

Jeremy Pawloski: 360-754-5445 jpawloski@theolympian.com

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