Man convicted of attempting to extort his ex-boss

Defendant remains free on bond.
Cary Ashby
Jan 8, 2014

A Norwalk man pleaded guilty Tuesday to attempting to extort his former boss.

Jeremiah J. Weitzel, 27, of 239 E. Main St., will be sentenced Feb. 19 for an amended charge of attempted extortion. He faces six to 18 months behind bars on the fourth-degree felony.

"Typically the court can't impose a prison (sentence) on a felony of the fourth degree on a first (felony) conviction," Huron County Common Pleas Judge Jim Conway said at Tuesday's hearing.

The victim is Weitzel's former boss.

"He (Weitzel) thought he was unfairly terminated," Huron County Prosecutor Russell Leffler said.

Once the defendant 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, Leffler said. The prosecutor 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.

Weitzel, who remains out on a $10,000 bond, is prohibited from having any contact with the victim.