GRIMESLAND, N.C. (WNCT) — A Pitt County man is facing charges after deputies with the Pitt County Sheriff’s Office said he tried to extort money from his grandfather by saying he had been kidnapped.

Deputies responded to 3639 Alvin Rd. in Grimesland on Thursday at 3 a.m. to a reported kidnapping. Someone called Jeremy Nichols’ grandfather and said he had been kidnapped. The man, who was not identified, said kidnappers would kill Nichols if their ransom demands were not met. The man also talked on the phone with Nichols, who directly asked his grandfather to pay the ransom. 

During the investigation, deputies were able to locate Nichols, who had returned to his grandparent’s residence unharmed. Detectives determined the kidnapping was a hoax created by Nichols and a narcotics dealer for the purpose of inducing the grandfather to pay a debt to the dealer. 

Nichols, 34, was arrested and charged with two felonies, extortion and conspiracy to obtain property by false pretense. He was taken into custody and remains at the Pitt County Detention Center under a $175,000 secured bond.