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Extortion charges against Tyrann Mathieu’s cousin dropped

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In May, Geourvon Sears was arrested for allegedly attempting to extort millions of dollars from the Chiefs safety

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs-Training Camp Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

According to a report from NOLA.com, federal prosecutors have agreed to drop extortion charges against Geourvon Keinell Sears — a cousin of Kansas City Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu — after he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of removing an ankle monitoring bracelet.

Thursday’s plea deal before U.S. magistrate judge ends the case — which has been a maze of charges and counter-charges.

Sears, 21, who reportedly lived with Mathieu while he was playing for the Arizona Cardinals between 2013 and 2017, was arrested May 1 on charges he attempted to extort millions of dollars from his cousin.

Prosecutors alleged Sears had threatened to publicly expose unspecified allegations of sexual misconduct against Mathieu unless he was paid. Sears was said to have called Mathieu in April, demanding “$1.5 million deposited into his account.” In another incident, Sears was alleged to have sent Mathieu a text demanding “$5 million by Friday, I’m done talking, emailing TMZ now.” Court records also said that days later, Sears told Mathieu’s relatives, “I want $1.5 million by Friday or I am going to kill all you all.”

After his arrest, Sears was released on $25,000 bond. But in a bond hearing on May 22, federal magistrate judge Joseph Wilkinson revoked Sears’ bond when it was revealed he had removed the ankle monitoring bracelet that would report his location to authorities.

But in that hearing, Sears’ attorneys — federal public defenders Claude Kelly and Celia Rhoads — made charges of their own, presenting testimony from Sears’ brother George and his mother Toya Robinson alleging that Mathieu had made threats against them via text and social media. In court, Robinson read a text message she claimed was from Mathieu that threatened her life and those of her sons. Others were alleged to show Mathieu had placed bounties on members of Robinson’s family.

Images of some of those messages were entered into the public record the following day and published in The New Orleans Advocate.

But Sears’ bond was reinstated in June, after Kelly and Rhoads filed a motion charging that Chad Cockerham — a New Orleans police detective who had been part of the FBI task force that originally investigated the charges against Sears — was biased in Mathieu’s favor.

The motion cited Cockerham’s admission during a May 22 court hearing that he had been part of a paid security detail that accompanied Mathieu while the athlete visited New Orleans for charity events and other activities just days earlier. Those activities unfolded within weeks of Cockerham’s obtaining a warrant to arrest Sears, and the motion urged Wilkinson to consider again releasing Sears on bond.

After Sears’ release on bond, his attorneys began negotiating the plea deal that was entered on Thursday.

In the May 22 bond hearing, Sears’ mother testified that she just wanted the whole thing to be over. “I want this to all go away,” Robinson said. “I want my son out of this federal situation and Tyrann to go on with his life.”

With Thursday’s plea deal, she got her wish.