Defense Dept.’s ‘Godfather at Camp Pendleton’ arrested for extortion

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A Defense Department worker who dubbed himself the “Godfather at Camp Pendleton” was arrested and charged with extortion.

Prosecutors allege Natividad Lara Cervantes was using his position at Camp Pendleton to extort money and take bribes from contract business owners who wanted to work at the California Marine Corps base, The Associated Press reports. He was in charge of overseeing construction and service contracts for the base.

Mr. Cervantes was arrested last Thursday, following a sting operation during which he allegedly took $10,000 of a $40,000 bribe from a federal witness acting as a businessman, AP reports.

The suspect has called himself the “Godfather at Camp Pendleton” since 2008, when he first starting taking money and accepting remodeling work on his home to help business owners secure contracts on the base, prosecutors said in the AP report.

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