For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney’s Office, Western District of Michigan
Charge for causing the death of a 17-year-old Marquette boy
Charge for causing the death of a 17-year-old Marquette boy
MARQUETTE, MICHIGAN — U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan Mark Totten today announced the unsealing of a federal indictment charging three Nigerian men with sexually extorting numerous young men and teenage boys in the Western District of Michigan and across the United States and charging one of them 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.
“Sextortion is a horrible crime that can leave especially younger victims feeling ashamed with nowhere to turn,” said U.S. Attorney Mark Totten. “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,” said James A. Tarasca, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Michigan. “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.”
“Our focus going forward is to bring more awareness to children, young adults, and parents. Our family has forever been changed by this heinous crime and our objective is to prevent another individual from being victimized,” said the DeMay family. “Kids, teenagers, and even adults can be a target of sextortion. We urge you to have discussions about this and have a plan for your children to reach out if it does happen to them.” The family added, “Jordan will never be forgotten. He will forever be in our hearts and will drive us forward to share his story and help others.
Overview of Federal Charges
The defendants, Samuel Ogoshi, 22, Samson Ogoshi, 20, and Ezekiel Ejehem Robert, 19, 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 the child pornography images to the 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.
Additional Allegations in the Federal Indictment
The grand jury alleges that the defendants bought hacked social media accounts and used the accounts to pose as young women to lure teenage and young adult males into sexual chats. One of the accounts used was an Instagram account bearing the user name “dani.robertts”, which communicated with Jordan DeMay shortly before his death. After initiating chat conversations with the victims, the defendants simultaneously used Google and other online applications to research information about the victims, including where the victims lived, where they went to school or worked, and who their family and friends were.
The grand jury alleges that the defendants then solicited their victims to produce and send sexually explicit images of themselves. Once the defendants received sexually explicit images, they created collages that included the sexually explicit image alongside other images of the victims from social media, including images of the victims’ school, family, and friends. The defendants then threatened to disclose the collages to others, including the family, friends, and classmates, of their victims via social media unless the victims paid money. The grand jury alleges the defendants engaged in this extortion and attempted extortion of more than 100 people.
The grand jury alleges that on March 25, 2022, after DeMay was induced to send a naked picture of himself, Samuel Ogoshi used the dani.robertts account to extort him:
dani.robertts: I have screenshot all ur followers and tags can send this nudes to everyone and also send your nudes to your Family and friends Until it goes viral… All you’ve to do is to cooperate with me and I won’t expose you
dani.robertts: Are you gonna cooperate with me
dani.robertts: Just pay me rn [Just pay me right now]
dani.robertts: And I won’t expose you
Victim 1: How much
After DeMay paid $300, Samuel Ogoshi made more threats.
dani.robertts: Enjoy your miserable life
Victim 1: I’m kms rn [I’m kill myself right now]
Victim 1: Bc of you [Because of you]
dani.robertts: Do that fast
dani.robertts: Or I’ll make you do it
dani.robertts: I swear to God
The grand jury alleges that also on March 25, 2022, after Victim 2 was induced to send naked picture of himself, the following messages were exchanged with Victim 2:
dani.robertts: Pay me rn [Pay me right now]
dani.robertts: And I’ll end this
dani.robertts: Deal or no deal
Victim 2: I don’t have that kind of money
dani.robertts: I love this
. . .
Victim 2: I have $50 in venmo and a $100 cash
dani.robertts: Now goodbye
dani.robertts: Enjoy your miserable life
Victim 2: Why
dani.robertts: I’ll make this go viral
On March 26, 2022, the following messages were exchanged with Victim 2:
dani.robertts: I will make you regret you life
dani.robertts: I will make u commit suicide
dani.robertts: I promise you I swear
Coordination with Nigerian Law Enforcement
Earlier this year, agents from FBI Michigan travelled to Nigeria to conduct a cooperative investigation with Nigerian law enforcement officials. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), a Nigerian law enforcement agency, arrested Samuel Ogoshi, Samson Ogoshi and Ezekiel Robert. The three men are facing extradition to the United States to face prosecution. The timeline for their extradition and a date for their appearance in the United States is unknown. The FBI referred information to the EFCC regarding three additional Nigerian males involved in this same sextortion ring. These individuals were arrested by the EFCC. The EFCC is one of Nigeria’s national investigative agencies and is responsible for the investigation of all financial crimes, including extortion, fraud, money laundering, and corruption. The cooperation and assistance of the EFCC was essential in apprehending the defendants. U.S. Attorney Totten extends his appreciation and thanks to the EFCC and the Nigerian authorities for their important partnership in this case.
“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,” said EFCC Chairman Abdulrasheed Bawa. “We wish to express our sincere and immense appreciation to the EFCC and the Cyber Crime Team for the cooperation and significant contribution towards the prevention and detection of trans-national crimes.”
U.S. Attorney Totten and SAC Tarasca thanked the following Nigerian partners and institutions for their assistance with this case: Honorable Chairman Chief Executive Abdulrasheed Bawa, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission; Assistant Director and Head of the International 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.
What is Sexual Extortion?
Sexual extortion or “sextortion” can take many forms. Through various ruses and exploits, victims are lured to share compromising images or engage in compromising conversations. Girls and women are often extorted to produce more sexually explicit pictures, while boys and men are commonly extorted for money. In all cases, the perpetrators use embarrassment and shame with the threat of disclosure to leverage what they want. The sextortion can cause enormous stress and crisis for victims.
Meta Platforms, Inc., the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, has been a good partner in this investigation, providing important information in a timely manner.
“We want teens to have safe, positive experiences online, and we work to help prevent and stop criminals from targeting them with sextortion schemes. This includes cooperating with law enforcement to help protect vulnerable teens from these horrific crimes and bring their perpetrators to justice. In addition to the work we do to protect teens from sextortion, we also helped found NCMEC’s TakeItDown, which allows teens to stop the spread of their intimate images online,” said Antigone Davis, Global Head of Safety at Meta.
Meta offers the following safety tips if you are a teen or the parent of a teen who finds themself in this situation, you can take quick steps to protect yourself:
- Stop engaging with the person harassing you
- Block their account to limit further interactions
- Report them within the app immediately
- Tell a trusted friend or parent what’s happening
- Go to TakeItDown.NCMEC.org to prevent your intimate images from being spread online
- Talk to law enforcement if you feel you’ve been taken advantage of.
Safety Tips and Resources for Victims, Teens, and Parents
To kids and teens experiencing sexual extortion or something like it: this is not your fault. You can get through this, even if it seems scary and overwhelming. The FBI provides the following tips on how people can protect themselves from sextortion schemes:
- Be selective about what you share online. If your social media accounts are open to everyone, a predator may be able to figure out a lot of information about you.
- Be wary of anyone you encounter for the first time online. Block or ignore messages from strangers.
- Be aware that people can pretend to be anything or anyone online. Videos and photos are not proof that people are who they claim to be. Images can be altered or stolen. In some cases, predators have even taken over the social media accounts of their victims.
- Be suspicious if you meet someone on one game or app and that person asks you to start talking on a different platform.
- Be in the know. Any content you create online—whether it is a text message, photo, or video—can be made public. And nothing actually “disappears” online. Once you send something, you don’t have any control over where it goes next.
- Be willing to ask for help. If you are getting messages or requests online that don’t seem right, block the sender, report the behavior to the site administrator, or go to an adult. If you have been victimized online, tell someone. Being a victim of sextortion is not your fault. You can get through this challenge, even if it seems scary and overwhelming. There are people who want to help.
If you have information about or believe you are a victim of sextortion, contact your local FBI field office, call 1-800-CALL-FBI, or report it online at http://tips.fbi.gov. This FBI PSA and National Center for Missing and Exploited Children PSA share survivor stories and resources for individuals to get help. More FBI sexual extortion resources are available here.
Law Enforcement Coordination
This case is part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. The U.S. Attorney’s Office, county prosecutor’s offices, the Internet Crimes Against Children task force (ICAC), federal, state, tribal, and local law enforcement are working closely together to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children. The partners in Project Safe Childhood work to educate local communities about the dangers of online child exploitation, and to teach children how to protect themselves. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit the following web site: www.projectsafechildhood.gov. Individuals with information or concerns about possible child exploitation should contact local law enforcement officials.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Daniel Mekaru and Davin Reust, and investigated by the FBI, the Marquette Sheriff’s Department, and the Michigan State Police Cybercrimes Unit in Marquette with the cooperation and assistance of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission of Nigeria. The U.S. Department of Justice, Office of International Affairs, and the U.S. Department of State assisted in seeking the extradition of the defendants.
The charges in an indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law.
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Updated May 3, 2023
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