High school student charged with extortion

OKEECHOBEE — An 18-year-old Okeechobee High School student was arrested April 29 and charged with extortion. He is accused of threatening to kidnap and murder a fellow student’s mother and sister.

Eduardo Martinez

School Resource Deputy Brant Harden was called to the administration office of the Okeechobee High School by Dean Daryl Roehm and Principal Dylan Teddars in reference to a student in possession of unknown pills. When Deputy Harden arrived, he was handed a bag full of pills, which he identified as dexmethylphenidate hydrochloride, a Schedule II controlled substance under federal law. The student allegedly in possession of the pills was identified as Eduardo Martinez, Northeast 11th Lane. According to webmd.com, the prescription drug is used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

A second student was found with the same pills in his backpack, but he had a prescription for the pills. When questioned, he reportedly admitted giving the pills to Martinez but said he did so because he owed Martinez money for an ounce of marijuana he purchased from him last summer. He said Martinez contacted him two weeks ago and began telling him every day he would shoot him if he did not give him the money he owed him. He also claimed Martinez threatened to kidnap his mother and sister if he did not get his money. He said he had heard Martinez has guns and had broken into people’s homes in the past, and he was in fear for the lives of his family. He said this was the reason he gave him the pills.

The student’s mother was contacted and said she did want to pursue charges. The student was not charged because it was determined he was acting out of fear for his family.

Martinez was charged with possession of a Schedule II substance and extortion. Bond was set at $10,000.

Cathy Womble is a staff writer for the Lake Okeechobee News.

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