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The Justice Department released a statement Monday, January 13, 2020, that a criminal complaint was unsealed in federal court in Alexandria, LA, charging Daniel Dewayne Aikens, 37 of Alexandria, for an extortion scheme involving threats and the detonation of two pipe bombs.

Aikens was arrested after a traffic stop on January 6, 2020, and appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph H.L. Perez-Montes on January 7, 2020, where he was advised of the charge contained in the complaint, arraigned on the charge, and detained. Aikens continues to remain in federal custody pending the outcome of his detention hearing on January 17, 2020.

Aikens is accused of contacting an employee of PayDay Today demanding $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. The affidavit states Aikens told the employee that he caused the explosion and demanded $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.

Charges are trying to extort money by using an explosive device.

If convicted, Aikens faces up to 20 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.

Previously Aikens was arrested in Grant Parish in April 2018 and charged with domestic abuse battery by strangulation, domestic abuse battery aggravated assault, and intimidation of a witness. In August 2018, Aikens was part of a Louisiana State Police round up in Winn and LaSalle Parishes and charged with theft of a motor vehicle (warrant), theft over $1000 (warrant) and 2 charges contempt of court.

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