Tucson man suspected of extorting owner of local restaurants

CREATED Jul. 15, 2011

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Web Producer: Marissa Pasquet

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - A Tucson man is suspected of demanding $600,000 from the owner of Guero Canelo resturants.

Eduardo A. Sabori, 35, has been charged with interfering with commerce by threats or violence, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Tucson said Friday.

The owner of the three popular Guero Canelo restaurants, featuring Sonoran hot dogs, is Daniel Contreras. Wednesday, FBI investigative agents, along with an FBI SWAT team, supervised delivery of a drop bag. A short time later, Sabori was apprehended attempting to retrieve the drop bag. Sabori admitted to being the principal behind the extortion attempt.

 The U.S. Attorney’s Office then filed a complaint charging Sabori with the federal felony. Sabori had his initial appearance on Thursday afternoon before Federal Magistrate Judge Jennifer Guerin, who ordered him held pending a formal detention hearing to determine his release status on Monday.

“Thanks to an outstanding response and fast-moving investigation by the FBI, this attempt to extort over a half million dollars from a business owner was thwarted before anyone was harmed,” said John Evans, Criminal Chief for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Tucson.

A conviction for Interfering with Commerce by Threats or Violence carries a maximum penalty of up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. In determining an actual sentence, the assigned District Court Judge will consult the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide appropriate sentencing ranges.

The judge is not bound by those guidelines in determining a sentence. A complaint is simply the method by which a person is charged with criminal activity and raises no inference of guilt.

The investigation in this case was conducted by members of the Tucson FBI office. 

(Information for this story came from a press release Courtesy of the Office of the United States Attorney, Dennis K. Burke)