A Home Depot employee was taken into custody on Nov. 8 after federal prosecutors accused him of threatening to detonate pipe bombs in three different stores unless Home Depot paid him $2 million.
The alleged extortion plot, outlined in a federal district court in Central Islip and reported by the New York Times, took place over several weeks and involved two ransom letters and anonymous phone calls to Home Depot representatives. Daniel Patrick Sheehan, a 50-year-old worker at the Deer Park, N.Y., store, said he would “shut down all [Long Island] stores on Black Friday” by detonating homemade bombs packed with roofing nails at three unidentified Home Depot stores.
The F.B.I. said that Sheehan had some degree of expertise in bomb-making. On Oct. 15, the suspect planted a shrapnel-packed explosive device in the lighting aisle of Home Depot’s Huntington, N.Y., store, authorities said, in order to prove the seriousness of his intent. Management evacuated the store, and no one was hurt.
Prosecutors claim that Sheehan, who was traced through a prepaid cell phone, demanded a $2 million payment to call off the Black Friday bombing. He was denied bail at the Nov. 8 hearing and faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 30 years if convicted.
Home Depot released the following statement when contacted by HCN:
“We are truly grateful for the outstanding efforts and rapid response of local and federal law enforcement to ensure the safety of our customers and our associates. We thank our associates for the way they have maintained their focus on serving our customers through this period. We apologize to customers for this inconvenience, and want both associates and customers to know that their safety is our first priority.
“We understand from authorities that the individual arrested is reported to be an associate, but as a general policy we do not comment on individual personnel matters, and because this remains a matter of an active criminal investigation, we will not comment further at this time.”