Akron Men Indicted in Extortion Plot
A federal grand jury returned a six-count indictment charging Franklin D. Conley, 27, and Patrick W. Griffin, 28, both of Akron, with conspiracy to affect commerce by extortion and use of a communications facility to facilitate a drug trafficking offense, said Steven M. Dettelbach, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, and Stephen D. Anthony, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Cleveland office.
Conley and Griffin began threatening the victims and their family in February 2015 with serious physical harm or death if they were not given money or introduced to a source of illegal drugs, according to the indictment.
They were arrested after investigation revealed the extortion plot.
If convicted, a defendant’s sentence will be determined by the court after review of factors unique to this case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record, if any, the defendant’s role in the offense and the characteristics of the violations. In all cases, the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and, in most cases, it will be less than the maximum.
The investigation preceding the indictment was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The matter is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Teresa Riley.
An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.