Ransom Calls Heard At Trial Of Alleged L.I. Home Depot Extortion Plotter
As CBS 2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported, the former Home Depot employee could face the rest of his life behind bars for planting a dud bomb at a Long Island store.
Sheehan, 50, has admitted to the plot but claims he never meant to hurt anyone.
For one week last October, some Long Island Home Depot shoppers were on edge after a pipe bomb was found in the Huntington location and bomb scares were reported at two others.
In the ransom calls played for the jury Tuesday, the caller believed to be Sheehan can be heard demanding money. The jury heard two phone calls.
MANAGER: “We want to get you your money, I need to get you your money.”
CALLER: “I want to get this over with too…I’ve tried to help you and you’ve tried to catch me and [expletive] me and kill me.”
MANAGER: “I’m not trying to kill you. Listen, I want to get you your money.”
According to prosecutors, Sheehan wrote letters to the manager demanding $2 million. After allegedly planting a pipe bomb, he then threatened to shut down all of Long Island’s Home Depots on Black Friday with additional pipe bombs filled with nails.
The voice purported to be Sheehan can then be heard lowering his demand to $1 million.
In another call played for the jury, the person said to be Sheehan is heard sounding upset that police were called.
CALLER: “You have a lot of show of force there today. There’s dozens of cops everywhere. I’m very angry right now.”
Throughout the extortion plot, Sheehan continued working at Home Depot.
His attorney admitted he hatched the extortion scheme to get money for a sick niece, but added the bomb was not functional.
“The ignition system that he created, he deliberately left incomplete and left out key components so that it could not ignite. So that’s the defense,” attorney Leonard Lato told Gusoff.
Lato added his client was depressed over losing work hours.
The federal jury will decide Sheehan’s fate.
Extortion carries a four-to-six-year prison sentence, but using a destructive device to carry out an extortion plot carries a mandatory 30-year sentence.
Sheehan is considering taking the stand in his own defense.
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