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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Louisiana

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Alexandria Man Indicted for Extortion Scheme Involving Explosives

Aikens set off an explosive device nearby a payday lender in an attempt to extort $10,000

ALEXANDRIA, La. A federal grand jury has returned an indictment against Daniel Dewayne Aikens, 37, of Alexandria, charging him with one count of making a threat by telephone, announced David C. Joseph, United States Attorney for the Western District of Louisiana.

According to the indictment, on January 2, 2020, Aikens used a cell phone to contact an employee of PayDay Today and made a threatening demand for $10,000 in cash. He initially spoke to the employee about a set of lost keys. While the employee was in the parking lot looking for the keys, a device exploded in a trash can near the building. Aikens told the employee that he had caused the explosion and threatened another explosion if he was not given $10,000 in cash. Aikens was discharged from his position as a commissioned officer in the Louisiana National Guard shortly after his arrest in connection with this incident.

If convicted, Daniel Aikens faces up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), FBI, Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office, Alexandria Police Department, U.S. Marshal’s Service, Louisiana State Police, and the Alexandria Fire Department investigated the case, with the assistance of the Alexandria Public Safety Commissioner and the City of Alexandria Mayor’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jamilla A. Bynog is prosecuting the case.

An indictment is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice. Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years.

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Updated February 5, 2020