Three Nigerian men have been charged with engaging in international sexual extortion, which inspired a teenage lad to commit suicide in the US.
Samuel Ogoshi, 22, Samson Ogochi, 20, and Ezekiel Ejehem Robert, 19, have been named as the men who are awaiting extradition to the United States.
U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan, Mark Totten on Wednesday, 3 May, 2023, announced the unsealing of a federal indictment charging the three Nigerians with sexually extorting numerous young men and teenage boys in the Western District of Michigan and across the United States.
One of the men has been charged with causing the death of Jordan DeMay, of Marquette, Michigan.
“On March 25, 2022, 17-year-old DeMay was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. His death prompted an investigation by the Marquette County Sheriff’s Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which culminated in the indictment unsealed today,” the statement read.
“Sextortion is a horrible crime that can leave especially younger victims feeling ashamed with nowhere to turn,” Mark Totten said.
“My heart goes out to the family of Jordan DeMay. Nothing can bring Jordan back, but my office is committed to securing justice and, alongside Jordan’s family, sending an urgent warning so others can protect themselves and their families. We will travel the world to hold the perpetrators of these crimes accountable.”
“Financial sextortion is a global crisis that impacts teens in our country and around the globe. That’s why the FBI is working hand in hand with our domestic and international law enforcement partners to prevent youth from becoming victims of this tragic crime and to hold those who target our teens in this manner accountable – no matter where in the world they may be,” said James A. Tarasca, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Michigan.
The three defendants, all of Lagos, Nigeria, are charged in a four-count indictment.
Count 1 charges Samuel Ogoshi with Sexual Exploitation and Attempted Sexual Exploitation of a Minor Resulting in Death in association with the death of Jordan DeMay. The charge carries a maximum penalty of life in prison and a statutory mandatory minimum of 30 years in prison.
Count 2 charges all three men with Conspiracy to Sexually Exploit Minors by causing the minors to produce child pornographic images that the defendants then used to blackmail the minors.
The charge carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a mandatory minimum of 15 years in prison.
Count 3 charges all three men with Conspiracy to Distribute Child Pornography for sending child pornography images to minors, as well as their families and friends. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a mandatory minimum penalty of 5 years in prison.
Count 4 charges Conspiracy to Commit Stalking Through the Internet for engaging in this sextortion scheme as it relates to both minors and young adults. The charge has a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison.
All charges have provisions for fines, restitution, and supervised release after their release from prison.
Cooperation Department Antoinette Oche-Obe, Central Authority Unit, Office of the Attorney General – Ministry of Justice; Director of Operations Abdulkarim Chukkol, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission; and Principle Prosecutor Pius Akutah, Central Authority Unit, Office of the Attorney General – Ministry of Justice; Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Justice, Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC); the Central Authority Unit of Nigeria’s Ministry of Justice; and the Attorney General of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Speaking, EFCC Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, said: “International cooperation is critical. In the last two years, this coordination has strengthened efforts connected with the extradition, deportation, and mutual legal or other assistance between Nigeria and the United States involving Economic and Financial Crimes.”