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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Wednesday, December 11, 2002

Man guilty in shrimp business extortion case

Advertiser Staff

A 50-year-old Wahiawa man has pleaded guilty to robbery, extortion and theft charges for his role in trying to coerce the owner of a Kahuku shrimp plate lunchwagon operation to sell the lucrative business back to the prior owner.

Troy Nitsche, the owner of a food van, said he was forced at gunpoint on Aug. 19, 2001, to sell the business back to one of the people he bought it from.

Carl Depietropaolo was accused of being one of three armed men who were at a Pearl City warehouse when Nitsche was threatened and made to sell his interest in the shrimp van and another food product business.

Depietropaolo pleaded guilty on Monday to one count each of first-degree robbery, second-degree extortion and second-degree theft.

In exchange for his guilty plea on the three charges, the prosecution agreed to drop a kidnapping count against Depietropaolo, who faces a maximum prison term of 20 years, and a mandatory minimum of three years, when he is sentenced April 22.

The former food business owner, Connie Aragona, 47, is scheduled to go to trial March 10 on robbery, extortion, theft and kidnapping charges.