Ciolek has filed suit on behalf those who had their mug shots on five similar sites and is seeking more West Virginians to join him, the Gazette previously reported . The lawsuit would expand to cover victims of all mug shot websites, Ciolek said.
He said he wants the Attorney General's Office, or county prosecutor's office, to pursue Watson for extortion.
"What could be done in West Virginia is that anyone could bring an extortion claim against these [websites]," he said. "Any prosecutors office or anyone that takes this on is set to make millions of dollars. They would being doing their whole state or country a favor."
Watson doesn't make himself available for questions about his business or its practices.
WVJails is registered vaguely online to a "Mr. Watson." The phone number provided connects directly to a voicemail message telling those concerned about removal fees to leave their name, email address and return phone number.
Multiple messages at Watson's public phone listing in Clarksburg were not returned this week. He blocked a Gazette reporter from contacting him on Twitter.
Watson's website has also had an impact on the news industry. Officials operating the State Regional Jail Authority's website made it harder for people to download mug shots in April to deter Watson.
Watson continually uses the WVJail's twitter account to boast about how many people wake up to his website -- rather than legitimate news outlets or the Regional Jail Authority -- to find out who's been arrested overnight.
In August, some news outlets scrambling for information about the man who gunned down two State Police troopers near Clay County chose to run a WVJails mug shot of the gunman, from a previous arrest.
Reach Travis Crum at travis.c...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5163.