Federal Criminal Complaint Charges Crosby County Man in Extortion Scheme
LUBBOCK, TX—Shannon Dale Smith of Crosbyton, Texas, appeared this afternoon in federal court, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Nancy M. Koenig, on a federal criminal complaint stemming from his attempt to extort more than $500,000 from a Crosby County man, announced U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas.
Smith, 46, has been in custody since his arrest late Thursday evening, October 29, 2015. Judge Koenig will set a detention hearing at a later date, should one become necessary.
According to the affidavit filed with the complaint, on Tuesday morning, October 27, 2015, Crosbyton resident, Nathan Boardman, received a telephone message on his answering machine that said in a muffled voice: “We are watching you, there is a note on the north door.”
Boardman found the note that stated: “Follow these Instructions and no one will get Hurt. We Have a man watching your daughter. We Have a man watching your Grand daughter. We Have a man watching you and your wife. We are monitoring [sic] your home and cell phone. If you call the police, we will know and someone will be taken from you. If you choose not to participate, someone will be taken from you. You have till Thursday at 9 p.m. to put $525,000 in cash and or gold coins in a bag, duffel style. we [sic] will call you with further instructions. We are watching you. Do what you’re told and no one will be Hurt.”
On the morning of October 29, Boardman received another threatening phone call in which an unknown male stated they had 14 hours to get the money. That evening, the unknown male called and left a message advising they’d better answer or if they didn’t, it would be the last thing they would do.
At approximately 8:00 p.m. that evening, the unknown male caller provided instructions to drop the extortion money. Approximately one hour later, law enforcement staged a delivery of the extortion money at the location indicated. Soon after the drop, a vehicle was observed in the vicinity, and two individuals were observed on foot. Law enforcement immediately confronted the two men, Shannon Dale Smith and a juvenile male, and detained them. At the time of his arrest, Smith had a semi-automatic pistol on his person.
A complaint is a written statement of the essential facts of the offense charged and must be made under oath before a magistrate judge. A defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. The government has 30 days to present the matter to a grand jury for indictment. The maximum statutory penalty for the offense as charged is 20 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.
The FBI, Texas Rangers, and Texas Department of Public Safety, Criminal Investigations Division are investigating. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Haag is in charge of the prosecution.