Gary and Diana Bergeron, the owners of Rickety Ranch in Hollis, have been terrorized over the past two years by multiple extortion letters seeking $250,000 and experienced repeated acts of vandalism and violence.
HOLLIS — FBI investigators haven’t given up on finding the extortionist who they say has terrorized the owners of Rickety Ranch for two years, damaged property and abused animals in hopes of a $250,000 windfall.
“We’d like to take this opportunity to remind the public that the FBI is still offering a reward up to $10,000 to anyone with information that will lead to the identification, arrest and conviction of the individual or individuals behind multiple extortion attempts, harassment and animal cruelty inflicted upon a family and their farm known as Rickety Ranch in Hollis,” said Kristen Setera, media coordinator for the FBI’s Boston field office.
Last November, the FBI said Gary and Diana Bergeron, the owners of the Nartoff Road farm, received multiple extortion letters seeking $250,000. The couple had been harassed, and thousands of dollars in damage was done to property and vehicles. Animals at the farm were abused — abuse that cruelty investigators believe was inflicted by an extortionist.
“It remains an active, ongoing investigation and we do not intend on releasing updates,” said Setera this week in an email to the New Hampshire Union Leader.
Previously, Harold Shaw, a special agent in charge of the FBI Boston Division, said the use of violence to intimidate the Bergerons will not be tolerated and he urged anyone with information to come forward.
Although the FBI did not detail the intimidation tactics, the financial toll of the vandalism alone is in the thousands. The FBI released photographs of two abused Cocker Spaniels, as well as fire-damaged trucks.
In exchange for payment, the extortionist offered to spare the family further harm and claimed to be capable of settling their ongoing disputes with the town, according to the FBI.
Town officials acknowledged that past zoning issues at the farm prompted the town to file a lawsuit to enforce owner compliance with town regulations.
The $10,000 reward the FBI is offering is for information leading to the location, arrest and prosecution of whoever is responsible. Contact the FBI Boston Division at 857-386-2000 or submit tips at tips.fbi.gov.