A Centralia man has been charged for allegedly attempting to extort $500,000 from a Centralia Police officer.
Dean Phillips was arrested at approximately 11:30 a.m. on April 16 for second-degree extortion after he allegedly sent a letter, postmarked April 12, to an unnamed officer who had arrested Phillips for obstructing a law enforcement officer, refusing to provide a required driver’s license and driving with a suspended driver’s license on March 17.
The letter reportedly “challenged the officer’s lawful authority to arrest him” during the March 17 incident, “citing the United States Constitution as his reason,” and additionally accussed the officer “of the crimes of kidnapping, human trafficking, aggravated assault and attempted theft,” according to court documents.
When asked by a reporter, a spokesperson for the Centralia Police Department denied any credibility to the accusations included in the letter.
The letter reportedly told the officer that they could “cure this claim” by “paying him $500,000 in cash or gold/silver,” and that they had three days to respond or else “they were ‘guilty and liable in any court for these crimes,” according to court documents.
When contacted by another officer, Phillips allegedly confirmed that “he did send the officer ‘correspondence’” but stated that “it was between him and the officer” and said “he was ‘looking for ‘equitable relief’ for what happened.”
Phillips’ bail was set at $5,000. He was released from the Lewis County Jail on April 20. His arraignment hearing is scheduled for April 22.