North Carolina man accused of kidnapping hoax to scam grandparents

Published 7:12 am Saturday, June 19, 2021

A man faked his kidnapping to get ransom money out of his grandparents to pay off a drug dealer, a North Carolina sheriff’s office said.

The Pitt County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release that deputies received a call on Thursday from a person who said his grandson had been kidnapped and that his abductors demanded a ransom.

According to the news release, Jeremy Nichols, 34, of Grimesland, returned to his grandparents’ home unharmed, after which detectives determined the kidnapping was a hoax created by Nichols and a drug dealer to get the grandfather to pay off a debt.

The sheriff’s office charged Nichols with extortion and conspiracy to obtain property by false pretense. He’s jailed on a $175,000 bond, and it’s not known if he has an attorney.

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