Attempted extortioner gets jail sentence

Cary Ashby • Feb 21, 2014 at 5:07 PM

A former Norwalk man who was convicted of attempting to extort his former boss was sentenced to 90 days in jail Wednesday.

Jeremiah J. Weitzel, 27, most recently of 1014 Hartland Center Road, Collins, also was fined $500 as part of his three years of probation. If he violates the terms of community control, he faces 18 months in prison.

The victim is Weitzel's former boss. On Jan. 7, the defendant pleaded guilty to an amended charge of attempted extortion.

"He thought he was unfairly terminated," Huron County Prosecutor Russell Leffler said in January.

Once Weitzel got possession of the contents of a private letter, "he saw an opportunity to make some money" and threatened to expose the contents unless he got $2,500 from his former boss, said Leffler, who declined to say what was in the letter.

The Huron County Sheriff's Office set up a sting May 29 at Veterans Memorial Lake Park. Detectives Kayla Zander and Sgt. Josh Querin set up an "exchange." Deputies arrested Weitzel at gunpoint, but authorities have said he wasn't armed at the time.

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