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Sat Sep 27, 2014, 04:30 AM

Pine Lawn Mayor Faces Federal Extortion Charges

The mayor of a small North County municipality has been arrested on federal extortion charges.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation took Sylvester Caldwell into custody on Thursday. He'll be arraigned on a single count of interference with commerce by extortion on Monday.

As mayor, Caldwell was in charge of selecting the company that would handle towing for the Pine Lawn police department. According to the indictment, Caldwell demanded at least $1,600 over four months from an unnamed towing company in exchange for directing most of the towing business to that company. The payments allegedly took place at gas stations and restaurants in the St. Louis area.


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