ZEPHYRHILLS — A Palm Harbor man was arrested Tuesday after, deputies say, he tried to bilk another man of $20,000 for his influence in a court case.
Thomas Alfonso began texting Trevor Campbell on March 7, according to a Pasco County Sheriff's Office report. Campbell is facing charges of aggravated stalking. Alfonso's brother, Shannon Alfonso, is a witness for the prosecution in that case.
Campbell said Thomas Alfonso made it clear in the texts that he had influence on his brother's testimony. Alfonso indicated that he would tell his brother to recant his statement if Campbell gave him $20,000.
"You don't help me out, you go to prison," Campbell read from the text messages. "I have the power of influence."
Campbell said he turned the texts over to deputies who later arrested Thomas Alfonso, 24, on charges of extortion and violation of probation on an unrelated burglary case.
Alfonso, of 30 Liberty Way in Palm Harbor, remained in the Land O'Lakes jail Wednesday without bail.