A New York man has been convicted of trying to extort $2 million from Atlanta-based Home Depot by threatening to detonate a pipe bomb at stores last year.
A federal jury convicted Daniel Sheehan, 50, of Deer Park, N.Y., on Monday after two hours of deliberation, according to several published reports. He is a former part-time handy man at a Home Depot on Long Island in Huntington.
Sheehan was charged with attempted extortion and the use of a destructive device. He faces up to 30 years in prison at sentencing.
Sheehan’s attorney said his client was depressed over losing work hours and needed the money to help a sick niece.
According to the FBI complaint, Sheehan sent a letter to a Home Depot manager in Huntington last October claiming there was a pipe bomb in a box in the lighting department. The letter said that, if Home Depot didn’t pay the $2 million, the sender would shut down all of Home Depot’s stores on Long Island, detonating pipe bombs with roofing nails remotely by using a Trac Fone.
In another letter, Sheehan said he planned to be “wired up like a Christmas tree with 2 devices strapped to a belt and one to a neck chain that I will be wearing,’” the FBI complaint said.
A pipe bomb was later found at the Huntington store and detonated by a bomb squad. Prosecutors said Sheehan threatened to set off bombs on the day after Thanksgiving, called Black Friday, if he didn’t get the $2 million.
Authorities were able to arrest Sheehan last November after using GPS to track the TracFone he’d used to call in the bomb threats. It was the same phone he used to make followup demands.