ALEXANDRIA, La. — A Louisiana man was arrested and accused of detonating a pipe bomb in an attempt to scare and extort a pay-day loan business for $10,000.

A Department of Justice press release said Daniel Dewayne Aikens, 37, was arrested during a traffic stop and charged with extortion.

According to a criminal complaint, Aikens told an employee of PayDay Today that he lost a set of keys on Jan. 2. While the employee was in the parking lot looking for the keys, a device exploded in a trash can near the building, the release said.

Aikens told the employee he caused the explosion and demanded $10,000 in cash, the release said.

“The defendant is charged with trying to extort money from his victims by using an explosive device,” United States Attorney David Joseph said.

Aikens was arrested on Jan. 6 and is currently in custody pending a hearing on Jan. 17. Aikens was a commissioned officer in the Louisiana National Guard and was subsequently discharged.

If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison. It's unclear whether Aikens has an attorney who can comment on his behalf.

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