Man charged with trying to extort $500,000

THIEF RIVER FALLS, Minn. (AP) — A northwestern Minnesota man is accused of trying to extort $500,000 from a former neighbor by leaving a letter in his mailbox threatening to kill him and his family if he did not comply.

Pennington County sheriff’s officials say two pages of a handwritten, misspelled letter said three sharpshooters were watching the former neighbor’s house and that the residence was bugged and the phone was tapped. It instructed the man to deliver the money in three installments to a certain mile marker on a particular highway.

Fifty-two-year-old Gerald Sunsdahl is charged with making terroristic threats and attempted coercion. Pennington County Attorney Alan Rogalla says Sunsdahl also misused his power of attorney for his parents’ assets. Rogalla tells the Grand Forks Herald (http://bit.ly/157ye7M ) he’s preparing six additional felony charges against Sunsdahl, who did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

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Information from: Grand Forks Herald, http://www.grandforksherald.com

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