Charges: Man makes death threats trying to extort $500,000 from neighbor


A Thief River Falls man is facing two felonies after allegedly demanding half a million dollars from a former neighbor and threatening to kill him and his family if he didn't deliver.

The Grand Forks Herald reports 52-year-old Gerald Sunsdahl was charged with one count of making terroristic threats and one count of attempted coercion in Pennington County District Court.

According to the complaint, a rural Pennington County man told authorities that someone had put a crude hand-written letter in his brother's mailbox that was intended to scare the man into giving up $500,000.

"We have stacked out Your Place for 3 months. We Got Your House Buged," the letter said. "There are 3 guy's that Are watching You At All Time's, sharp shooters. We Having your Brother's Place with 2 Sharp Shooter's there to."

The sloppily written letter goes on to say that the victim and several members of his family were under surveillance by a group of "Professal's" and there would be consequences if anyone went to the police.

"You call Cop's or Tell Any Body, They Are all DEAD."

The letter instructed the man to put cash in plastic bags and leave them at certain mile markers.

A sheriff's investigation quickly led to Sunsdahl, who admitted after his arrest that he'd put the letter in the victim's mailbox, the newspaper reported.

Prosecutors said Tuesday that a slew of new charges are being brought against Sundahl in the coming weeks that allege he misused his power of attorney over his parents' assets and failed to pay taxes on the income.

The county attorney told the Grand Forks Herald that Sunsdahl intended to extort his former neighbor to replenish his parents' accounts he had drained.

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