CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Jury selection has begun in the trial of a former Home Depot handyman from Long Island accused of trying to extort $2 million from the company.
The letter demanded $2 million or the sender will “shut down all [Home Depot’s] LI stores on Black Friday,” the complaint said. It also claimed that the sender was ready to “detonate 3 devices in 3 different stores remotely via trac fone (sic),” the complaint said.
Authorities later found a device and it was detonated without injury. The FBI later determined that it was in fact a “functioning pipe bomb” and that whoever built it had some expertise in building explosive devices, the complaint said.
A few days later, prosecutors said the store received a second letter demanding a lower amount of $1 million.
The complaint states that on Oct. 26, the Home Depot got a call from a man who said “…this is the guy with the letters … you have a lot of show of force there today, dozens of cops everywhere … I’m very angry right now, I’ll send you a letter, we’ll do this again.”
Investigators said they were eventually able to track the calls to Sheehan who was later arrested.
His defense attorney denies the device left in the Huntington store was dangerous. Sheehan worked at a Home Depot in Deer Park.
If convicted, he faces 30 years in prison.
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