A farm meant for rescue animals in New Hampshire has instead turned into the site of a terrorizing two-year shakedown plot against one family, federal officials said Tuesday.
The FBI said in in a news release the family that owns the Rickety Ranch in Hollis, N.H. has sustained thousands of dollars in damage to vehicles and a barn after receiving multiple extortion letters in an attempt to collect $250,000.
“The vicious shakedown of this family and the use of violence to intimidate them will not be tolerated," said Harold H. Shaw, special agent in charge of the FBI Boston Division. "We’re asking anyone with information about who is terrorizing them to come forward and share that information with us so we can put a stop to it and bring whoever is responsible to justice."
In the letters sent to the family, the mysterious sender offered to spare them from harm and "claimed to be capable of settling their ongoing disputes with the Town of Hollis, New Hampshire."
The agency said that it was not aware of any disputes between the family and the town. Besides thousands of dollars of damage done to the property over the past two years, officials said that "multiple acts of animal cruelty" were committed on the farm. Some animals died, while others were seriously injured, according to the FBI.
One of the photos released by the FBI shows two springer spaniels that were listed as "victims of animal cruelty."
The farm lists itself on Facebook as an "educational rescue farm for kids and run by kids." Besides being a working farm, the facility also offers free-range poultry and eggs, grass-fed beef, pork, goat, turkey and smoked cheeses.
One of the extortion letters sent to the family was written in rhyme with multiple errors, and read:
I saw your flag on your lawn
And time almost gone
I know your in
Just pay me know and you will win
It will be simple and fast
I left instructions under glass
On your grass
From here o keep 50k cash on your a--"
The agency is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the location, arrest, and prosecution of the person or people responsible. Anyone with information is asked to contact the FBI Boston Division at (857) 386-2000.