Phone Threats Instill Fear, Terror

How scary is this scenario?

One morning you listen to a message on the telephone answering machine at your home. A muffled voice says, “We are watching you, there is a note on the north door.”

You look for the note and find it. It reads, “Follow these instructions and no one will get hurt. We have a man watching your daughter. We have a man watching your granddaughter. We have a man watching you and your wife.

“We are monitoring 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 duffel bag. We will call you with further instructions. We are watching you. Do what you’re told and no one will be hurt.”

14 hours to go

A day or two later, in the morning, you get another call. An unknown male tells you that you have 14 hours to get the money. That evening, the same man calls again and leaves a message advising you to take this seriously or if you didn’t, it would be the last thing you do.

Later that night, the male caller relays instructions for delivering the extortion money.

Now you call the cops. Law enforcement stages a delivery of the extortion money at the location indicated. Soon after the drop, a vehicle is observed in the area and two individuals are spotted on foot.

He is carrying a gun

Officers immediately confront the two men, one an adult and the other a juvenile male. The adult male is carrying a semi-automatic pistol.

The man with the gun is 46-year-old Shannon Dale Smith of Crosbyton, Texas. He has already made one appearance in court on a complaint involving an attempt to extort $500,000 from a Crosby County, Texas, individual.

The government is expected to present the case to a grand jury for indictment. If convicted, Smith could be sentenced to 20 years in prison and fined $250,000.

The victim did the right thing in this instance. Paying off the crooks would have been a serious mistake.

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