2 held in alleged extortion of nuclear plant 2 held in alleged extortion of nuclear plant

Wednesday July 17, 2002

FONTANA — Two men were arrested for allegedly trying to extort $92,000 from an Arizona nuclear power plant in exchange for $3 million worth of parts they were sent under a maintenance-related contract, authorities said. 

Kevin Mitlo, 20, of Azusa and Tony Mitchell, 31, of Duarte were jailed Friday in lieu of $2 million bail apiece, said San Bernardino County sheriff’s Sgt. Frank Gonzales. 

They were booked for investigation of extortion, grand theft and conspiracy, according to sheriff’s records. 

Representatives of the Palo Verde Nuclear Power Generating Station in Phoenix filed a complaint Thursday with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department, alleging that a Fontana company, All Machines Specialists, failed to return parts that were sent to the company under a contract. 

Mitlo and Mitchell were associated with the All Machines Specialists, but Gonzales could not say what roles they performed for the company. 

A sheriff’s press release said Mitlo misrpresented the company and secured a contract to provide only estimates for repair work on the parts. The statement said the parts are integral to the power plant but did not further identify them. 

When asked to return the parts, Mitlo and Mitchell told Palo Verde officials that they would only return the parts if the power plant paid $92,000 for maintenance work they claimed they performed, Gonzales said. 

After the complaint was forwarded to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, investigators determined that the work was never performed, Gonzales said. 

Sheriff’s deputies accompanied officials of Palo Verde to a meeting with Mitlo and Mitchell at the Three Sisters Truck Stop, where the two men were arrested.