Federal Jury Convicts Crosby County Man on Firearms Offense
Defendant Pleaded Guilty Earlier This Year to Federal Extortion Offense Stemming from His Threat to Kidnap and Injure Crosby County Man and his Family Members
LUBBOCK, Texas — Following a day and a half trial before Senior U.S. District Judge Sam R. Cummings, a federal jury has convicted Shannon Dale Smith, of Crosbyton, Texas, on a federal firearm offense related to 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, pleaded guilty in January 2015 to one count of interstate communications with the intent to extort. He faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine on the extortion conviction. Today, he was convicted of one count of possessing firearms in furtherance of a crime of violence, for which he faces a minimum mandatory penalty of five years in federal prison, a statutory maximum of life in prison and a $250,000 fine. A sentencing date was not set; Smith has been in custody since his arrest on October 29, 2015.
The government presented evidence during trial that on October 29, 2015, Smith possessed three firearms − a Glock .40 caliber semi-automatic pistol, a Rock River Arms .223 caliber semi-automatic rifle, and a Ruger .22 caliber rifle − in furtherance of transmitting communications to Crosbyton resident, Nathan Royce Boardman, threatening to kidnap and injure Boardman, his wife, his daughters, and his granddaughters.
The government presented evidence that Smith was carrying the Glock, .40 caliber pistol when he went to the drop location to see if Boardman had paid the extortion money. The government also presented evidence that Smith had the .223 caliber semi-automatic rifle and the .22 caliber rifle in his pickup truck as part of hunting ruse in case he was stopped by law enforcement.
According to plea documents filed in the case, on Tuesday morning, October 27, 2015, Smith called Boardman and left a message on his answering machine that said: “We are watching you, there is a note on your 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 Granddaughter. We Have a man watching you and your wife. We are monitering [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 9pm 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 phone call from Smith in which Smith advised him that he had 14 hours left to get the money or else he would see what Boardman’s granddaughter looked like naked and correctly identified Boardman’s granddaughter by her first name. That evening, Smith called and left a message advising they’d better answer the phone or if they didn’t, it would be the last thing they would remember.
At approximately 6:44 p.m. that evening, Smith called Boardman and provided instructions to drop the extortion money. A short time later, Smith called Boardman again to confirm he had the correct instructions and advised Boardman if “we get a GPS tracker or a dye pack, there’ll be hell to pay.”
At approximately 8:55 p.m., that evening, law enforcement officers departed Boardman’s residence using Boardman’s vehicle and proceeded to the location Smith provided and threw a duffel bag in the weeds next to the boiler, as instructed. Law enforcement officers returned to Boardman’s residence in Boardman’s vehicle. Law enforcement identified a 2011 white GMC pickup truck in the area of the drop location, and they identified the two individuals in the truck as Smith and his minor son. At the time of his arrest, Smith had a semi-automatic pistol on his person.
The FBI, Texas Rangers, Texas Department of Public Safety, Criminal Investigations Division, Crosby County Sheriff’s Office, and Crosbyton Police Department investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Haag is in charge of the prosecution.
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